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Reports from the Indian Maoist Insurgency

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Picked up Arundhati Roy's "Broken Republic" in library today, where she describes her time with the Maoists. Looks great!

 

Found a link to the three esssys that make up the book. Highly recommend anyone wanting to know the context of the Maoist conflict to read these

 

Mr Chidambaram’s War - http://www.outlookindia.com/article.aspx?262519

Walking With Comrades - http://www.outlookindia.com/printarticle.aspx?264738

Trickledown Revolution - http://www.outlookindia.com/article.aspx?267040

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Internationalism and the revolution of the masses in India: an interview with GN Saibaba

 

[On 14th of April 2012, the "Jan Myrdal great award, the Lenin award" was presented in a theatre in Varberg, Sweden. Individuals from different countries and from different parts of of Sweden came for the celebration. Many of participants stayed at Hotell Gästis in central Varberg, where Indiensolidaritet interviewed the secretary of the Revolutionary Democratic Front of India, G.N.Saibaba.]

 

Indiensolidaritet, Sweden, August 28, 2012

 

saibaba.jpg

 

GN Saibaba

 

Interview with G.N.Saibaba in Varberg Sweden, 14-15th April 2012

 

 

Indiensolidaritet: Can you say something about the political work you do in India?

 

Saibaba: I work for an organization called Revolutionary Democratic Front (RDF). It is a federation of revolutionary mass organizations working among different oppressed classes and sections of Indian society. Revolutionary students and youth organisations, revolutionary peasants’ organisations, revolutionary workers’ organisations, revolutionary cultural organisations as well revolutionary womens’ organisations from different regions across India are constituents of RDF. Thus RDF is a large network of revolutionary organisations reaching out to all sections and strata of the society.

 

From the year 2009 onwards Operation Green Hunt began, the Indian state’s genocidal war on the poorest of the poor in India. All of us in our organization RDF work with other parties, groups, democratic organisations and individuals to raise our voice collectively and unitedly against the present military onslaught on the people and the extermination campaign against the people of India. We see this massive military operation as a continuation and the latest addition in the war waged by India’s ruling classes against the people of the subcontinent for last many decades be it in Kashmir, North East, Punjab, and now in central and eastern India. So we are at one level involved in the basic struggles of the people and at another we are working along with a large network of political forces and carrying out a countrywide campaign against Indian state’s anti-people policies, particularly Operation Green Hunt.

 

Indiensolidaritet: The way we see it, there are two lines regarding solidarity work in Europe. One line is trying to unite people on an anti-imperialist and anti-feudal basis and another one focuses more on Maoism. What do you think about this?

 

Saibaba: Yes, there is this perception and understanding of how to develop the solidarity movement for the peoples‚ struggles and the particularly the military attack on the people that is going on in India. So what I can see is that there are large sections who think that the large sections of the people of India and the larger confrontation is more important to focus on, to tell the world outside India. There is another section of organizations which hold that the present campaign by the Indian state is targeting the revolutionaries in India and therefore the revolutionaries should be supported directly. What is important today is that the people of India, the poorest of the poor 80 percent of the country who live an extremely perilous existence, are looking forward to a basic change in their lives. The poorest section of humanity in the world therefore is waging a defiant struggle in India under the leadership of the revolutionary Maoists who are from among their own. So if you take the larger picture of what is happening in India, you can see that this is a great resistance against the loot of the land and minerals by the corporate sector. Monopoly capital in its desperation to dominate the world’s resources would like to overcome its crisis by exploiting the cheap raw materials in India and other oppressed countries. It’s an attempt by the imperialists, by monopoly capital on the world scale, to transport their burden of the economic crisis upon the shoulders of the poorest of the poor in India.

 

Removing the people from their homes and hearths has become pertinent for the corporations backed by the government to capture the valuable mineral resources which are estimated to a value of several trillions of dollars. So the resistance movement is built up by the indigenous people, the poorest of the poor, the millions and millions of the wretched of the earth. To crush this movement and to silence all the people the Indian government has sent more than 250,000 armed personnel to these regions backed by its air force and navy. You therefore can see the importance of the struggle. Of course the revolutionary forces are involved. They work in these areas and organise the people, but the question is much larger. It is an anti-imperialist struggle of the people, led by the revolutionary Maoists. This is a larger question because this resistance exists not only in the central and eastern parts of India where the Maoist movement has a strong presence, but extends to every part of India even where the Maoists are absent.

 

So in our view, we have to take into account this anti-imperialist struggle as a whole. We have to recognize that this is a larger struggle of the people of India who are not led by the revolutionaries everywhere simply because they do not exist in other parts. So the international solidarity should be to the entire movement. The other section of the people who feels that the revolutionary movement is a target too is not wrong in their perception. Yes, the revolutionary movement is a target of attack. In fact the Indian prime minister has termed it “the largest internal security threat” way back in 2005 reflecting the intent of the ruling classes to finish off the revolutionary movement. But what is important to recognise is that the anti-feudal and anti-imperialist struggle spanning over entire India and the revolutionary movement in India which exists in a considerable part of the country are interrelated. We cannot separate this two. The larger anti-imperialist and anti-feudal struggle is very important and we must not lose sight of it. We must stand in solidarity with the anti-imperialist and anti-feudal struggle of the common people of India. The Indian ruling classes and the imperialists have planned many genocides and massacres but the people have successfully resisted them so far through coordination and collective struggle, not allowing any of these corporate houses to intrude and take over their lands and resources.

 

So we in India feel that to give support to the anti-imperialist and anti-feudal struggles of the people is also to give support to the revolutionary movement in India. Therefore we need not and should not separate these two and give support only to the revolutionaries as if the revolutionaries exist outside and separately from this struggle. The revolutionary struggle in India is a part of the larger anti-imperialist and anti-feudal struggle going on in the subcontinent.

 

Indiensolidaritet: How can we support the people’s struggles against exploitation in general and against Operation Green Hunt in particular?

 

Saibaba: First of all I will have to give you a larger picture of the present situation back home in India and for this, a longer explanation is needed. Operation Green Hunt is a highly orchestrated and well planned military campaign against the people of India. This operation is modeled by the Indian state and the imperialist forces led by the US along the line of what was called the Red Hunt in the 18th century in North America. Through the Red Hunt campaign, the land of the indigenous tribal people in that continent was usurped and violently taken over by the European explorers and invaders. They also planned and executed the systematic elimination of the tribes of Red Indians who chose to resist this genocide. The history of the US tells us that this process of extermination of an entire population of indigenous people in North America was termed as Red Hunt. The invading Europeans believed that a good Red Indian is a dead Red Indian. The Red Indians had to be annihilated to establish the country which came to be called the US. There was no place for the tribal people in this New World created by the colonial explorers from Europe. Thus the country called US was constructed on the dead bodies of the Red Indians.

 

Very much the same concept of annihilation and extermination of an entire population operates in this military campaign called Operation Green Hunt. The ruling classes of India India call it Green Hunt for two reasons. Firstly, the military experts, strategists and authors who are on the payroll of the Indian state tell us that the hunt, or in more political terms the Indian state’s war on people is taking place in the greenest regions of the Indian subcontinent.

 

Central India and Eastern India have high hills and expansive forests, and is one of the greenest areas of the subcontinent. From the perspective of environmental concerns, we can call this the lungs of the earth. The ecosystem of this region consisting of mountains, forests, rivers, minerals, vulnerable ecology ˆ they sustain life on earth and in this sense are the protectors of all of us. This is one of the very few regions of the world which have still remained untouched by imperialism/capitalism and therefore are very important for our survival as well as for the earth to survive. So it is in this green region that Operation Green Hunt is being conducted. If successful, you can well imagine that this operation will turn greenery into barrenness. By forcibly evicting or exterminating the tribal people and thereafter facilitating the entry of multinational, private and government corporations, this war will destroy our very lungs and threaten our existence itself. So you can very well imagine the self-destructive nature of this Green Hunt.

 

Secondly, at another level the security analysts claim that Operation Green Hunt is termed so because the revolutionary fighters wear olive green uniforms and are the targets of this hunt. But this mode of thinking too reflects the same 18th century ideology behind the Red Hunt in the US. It is interesting to note that in September-October 2009, one of the ministers in the Indian government who is leading this Operation Green Hunt went to Afghanistan and the US, and soon after his return announced this Operation Green Hunt. He did not explicitly term it Operation Green Hunt. He said it is a paramilitary operation. Later the same minister denied that there is anything called Operation Green Hunt. But lower level officers in each of the regions where this operation is being conducted exposed his lie by frequently referring to Operation Green Hunt. Government of India still denies it by saying that there is no Operation Green Hunt. The reason for that denial is not difficult to see. In 2009 when the Indian interior minister announced this operation there was a massive protest from the intellectuals and the democratic forces from all over India. They immediately withdrew the nomenclature, though the operation has continued with ever greater intensity in different parts of India from then till now.

 

Nevertheless, the resemblance of India’s Operation Green Hunt and US’s Red Hunt goes deeper than just the name. In intent, purpose and intensity they are very much similar. In “Mr Chidambaram’s war” (the Interior Minister), an essay by Arundhati Roy, describes how Operation Green Hunt has three objectives: 1. Occupy 2. Dominate 3. Hold. If you go to the website of India’s interior ministry you can see these words. It is interesting to note that it is the same terminology that the U.S. is using to describe its strategy in Afghanistan. It doesn’t matter whether Indian state acknowledges or denies the term or the war it is waging on the people because the war is there on the ground. The entire people of India call it Operation Green Hunt.

 

We can understand Operation Green Hunt as a “war on the people of India” as well, and this is the main focus of the campaign. The ruling classes may play as much with words, but the truth is that it is a “war on the people of India”. What is this war about? The U.S. and other imperialists from European Union have sent military forces to Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and other places and are fighting imperialist wars of occupation against the people of these countries. In India too the imperialists have the same designs as in Afghanistan and Iraq and elsewhere, i.e., to grab all the natural resources, be it natural gas, petroleum, bauxite, coal or any other available resource. They have not yet sent in their military forces to India, even though the imperialists are aiding the Indian government with military strategists, army generals, intelligence input, weapons, surveillance equipment, and so on. These imperialist warmongers think that these resources which belong to the people of India can be grabbed without directly involving themselves in a war. This is because Indian rulers are completely subservient to the imperialist forces and are fighting this war on behalf of the imperialists. The Indian government is fighting a war for the US and European imperialists and others by using the army of India and the paramilitary of India. The servile Indian rulers are sending our own army against our own people. The imperialists are planning and conducting this war in India by simply sitting in their own countries and executing it through the Indian government in waging their war. This is the true nature imperialism since beginning of 20th century. The Indian government, the rulers of the country and India’s big corporations too are eagerly playing to the tune of the imperialists with a hope of earning some crumbs as spoils of war thrown at them. It is shameful for all of us citizens of India to see that the of army and paramilitary forces of our own county, which are supposed to protect Indian “sovereignty” and the Indian people’s freedom are being used to completely sell-out our “sovereignty” and to kill our own people in millions through genocides and massacres.

So it is a strange thing for the people in our part of the world, but this is the reality today. I would like to say that the campaign for the poorest of the poor in India who are fighting and resisting the imperialist onslaught is important to the people all over the world because the fight of the Indian poor people is not merely to defend themselves. It is against imperialism and against the monopoly bourgeoisie. And your fight against monopoly capital and our fight against its lackeys in India can build solidarity and come together to save humanity itself. This is a fight not to save the people of any particular country, but to save humanity and the entire earth, the only known place for human existence which is threatened by monopoly capital. So we have a larger reason for unity and a larger ground for solidarity. We must not see the national borders as barriers to our common fight since the question of the destruction of nature, natural resources and the people of the world is concerned today. Therefore solidarity across borders and the building of a common fight is something that is the need of the hour for the international community of democratic forces.

 

Indiensolidaritet: So what does this solidarity work mean for the peoples’ struggles and for the Indian government?

 

Saibaba: The solidarity movement for the Indian peoples’ struggles which is to be internationally established is very important and has the same significance today as the solidarity movement for the people of Vietnam during the sixties and seventies and for the people of Iraq and Afghanistan in the past decades. The Indian government’s war on the people is planned in a large scale and involves carefully planned genocides of the indigenous people of India who constitute a population which is larger than the population of Germany and Sweden put together. It is the indigenous people in the eastern and central India, the “adivasis”, who are targeted by the Indian rulers with active aid from the imperialist forces and the corporate sector. The biggest of the corporate houses from Europe and the U.S. have deep interests in this area. But they know that their interest will not be served unless the people, hundreds of millions of people, are removed from their ancestral land. Not coincidentally, these areas are also the areas which figure among the strongest resistance struggles in the world today.

 

This massive war on the people by the imperialists and the Indian rulers together threatens to massacre these people, and as democrats of the world we cannot afford to allow this to happen. In the 17th, 18th and 19th century the European bourgeoisie eliminated millions of indigenous people of Africa, North and South America, Australia and New Zealand. This could happen at that time because an international solidarity of democratic forces was absent or extremely weak. But in the present, at least since the days of the Second World War, there is a conscious international democratic solidarity which effectively raised their voices against the American war in Vietnam. They supported the democratic resistance against the U.S. military campaign in Vietnam and launched several campaigns that helped the Vietnamese people to gain strength and confidence.

 

Similarly, an international campaign today will strengthen the resistance struggle of the people of India and will give them confidence. They would be assured that the democratic voices of the world are with them and that the people of India are not alone in their struggle against imperialism and feudalism and to establish a new society. Indeed, a new society is already taking shape in these areas of struggle in India and it is our duty to inform the entire world about it. So this is the significance of the international solidarity campaign. This is the need of the Indian people and also of the people of the democratic society at an international level. It is a historical task of the democratic forces of the world to defend and stand in solidarity with these fighting forces.

 

Indiensolidaritet: Can you tell us something about the solidarity work in relation to the Indian government? Is it somehow disturbing them that this solidarity exists?

 

Saibaba: Yes, the Indian government is worried about this international campaign for the fighting people of India. This is because the campaign also makes it clear that the tall claims of the Indian state that it is one of the largest democracies of the world, that the economy of country is growing faster than other countries and that India is going to be the next superpower in Asia after China, and so on. All these falsehoods will come to light once the international campaign exposes the truth that India is not really a democratic state but is an autocratic and totalitarian state. It doesn´t allow democratic dissent and there is no internal democracy in India. And also the so-called high economic growth in India is at the expense of millions of people. Today in India, 80 percent of the people live on less than half a dollar a day on average in a year. This is worse than a subsistence economy, for on half a dollar a day you can´t even get something to eat and survive. In other words, the quality of life for the vast majority of Indian people is worse than that of the sub-Saharan populations, with the difference that the population in India is several

hundred times more than that of all the sub-Saharan countries put together.

 

We can say that instead of having the largest democracy in the world, India has the largest population stricken by poverty, exploitation and oppression.

 

So the government of India is already worried about the international solidarity campaign which has the potential to expose the reality that it wants to hide from the world. When the international campaign takes shape and speaks up, it will be very difficult for the Indian government to maintain the falsehood that India is a democratic state. India’s growth story is like the history of colonial economies which grew out of internal and foreign exploitation. This growth rate is very vulnerable because it is sustained through exploitation, suppression and massacre of the vast masses of people for the benefit of a small minority. This economic growth is inhuman and temporary, since only a few families in India are reaping its benefits while the majority of the people are getting severely facing its brunt. And these realities are coming out now. The Western media never brings out these realties to the international community. The Indian government suppresses such information and the imperialists too like to project India as a developing economy or lucrative investment destination.

 

It is a fact that the imperialists don’t want the facts and realities of India to come out. The international campaign alone can bring out these facts and present them before the international community.

 

Indiensolidaritet: You mentioned earlier that the Indian government will be more careful in its genocidal campaigns if there is a large public opinion that knows what’s really going on in India, behind all these lies.

 

Saibaba: Yes, the international campaign and your voices against the genocidal war in India have forced the government of India to rethink about its genocidal campaign. It has already started happening. For example, several protest demonstrations at Indian embassies in several countries in Europe, the US and South America put pressure on the Indian government.

Initially in 2009, the government of India planned to complete the war on the people within three years. They wanted to evict the people from tens of thousands of villages within three years using army, paramilitary and other coercive forces. But the campaign within India and outside, particularly the international campaign, forced the Indian government to go slow on its plans. Though the Indian government went through with its deployment, it slowed down the military campaign and during these three years the peoples’ resistance got precious time to consolidate, build its defence and gain more strength. As a result, the carrying out of the military campaign became much more difficult for the Indian government in the last three years. The resistance grew and expanded during this period and thus the international campaign has direct impact on the people who are resisting.

The people also gained confidence and strength. One more example that I remember is as follows. Last March the government of India declared in the parliament that the campaign taken up by some organizations in India and outside has portrayed the government of India in apoor light and that there is no war on the people of India. It was called a false propaganda to smear the image of the Indian government. This shows that the government of India have not been able to politically counter our collective international campaign and is forced to claim it as a false propaganda campaign.

 

Officials of the government in the parliament say that the campaign actually has exposed the government of India. This shows how the government of India is concerned about maintaining its image which it feels is under threat due to the campaign. The real relevance of the international campaign began to be felt by by the Indian government itself. Thus the international campaign stands for the benefit of the people and for the protection of the peoples‚ movement. It is a kind of legacy for the world people.

 

Indiensolidaritet: Of all the struggles we are supporting, the Naxalite movement is very important. What is the Naxalite movement of today?

 

Saibaba: You may know of the history of the Naxalite movement. The first ever armed rebellion of the tribal people in post-1947 period took place in the North Bengal village of Naxalbari in 1967. It opened up a new arena of class struggle and came to be known as the Naxalite movement. An important characteristic of this movement is that it is a peasant‚ armed rebellion led by the proletariat. It is primarily an agrarian revolution, similar to what happened in China during the thirties and forties of the last century.

 

The struggle that started from Naxalbari inspired the youth, intellectuals and the workers of India in every part of the country because they understood that any kind of struggle in India has to be based on the peasantry who constitute the vast majority of the population. Soon after 1967 the Indian government sent its army to suppress that movement and completely crushed that movement in Naxalbari, the one village. But Naxalbaris sprang up everywhere in India in the 1970s and 80s. In 600 regions in India they modelled themselves along Naxalbari uprising, and today the armed revolutionary movement that is going on in vast parts of the countryside in India are a continuation of the Naxalbari uprising.

 

Naxalbari has given the Indian people a vision and a future model of the struggle that runs along the axis of agrarian revolution. The understanding that the agrarian revolution will liberate the vast majority of the population following the proletarian ideology of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism which is later called Maoism spread among the masses.

 

So, after the suppression of the Naxalbari uprising since the late 1960s the predominant trend of the peoples’ struggles is the path of Naxalbari, if are a keen researcher of history of all peoples’ struggles since 1947 in the subcontinent. That is why it is said that Naxalbari is the only path of struggle in India. This is the slogan you can see in every street, on every wall for the last 40 years. It is the writing on the wall in the subcontinent, despite all major attempts by Indian and Western European historians to hide this fact from history writing. There is no doubt to say that the ideological position and trajectory of the Indian revolutionary movement has been shaped by the Naxalbari movement. Today the vast swathes of rural India are gripped by the ideology of Naxalbari, a revolutionary breakthrough which was aptly termed as “Spring Thunder in India” by China under Mao’s leadership. So the Spring Thunder is continuing and that is the basic line of struggle in India and constitutes the largest revolutionary resistance movement in India today, though this has not happened without colossal ups and downs.

 

Indiensolidaritet: As I understand it, there are several parties or groups that you can say belong to the Naxalite movement. Which are these parties?

 

Saibaba: In the 1970s there were mass uprisings in about 600 places following a split in the communist movement in India. The undivided communist movement represented by the Communist Party of India (CPI) split into CPI and CPI(Marxist) in 1964. In 1968 CPI(M) further split and CPI(Marxist-Leninist) was formed under the leadership of Charu Mazumdar.

 

But in the decade of 1970s the Marxist-Leninist movement got split into several parties due to differences on the questions of how to conduct the revolutionary struggle, attitude towards the Indian parliament and the attitude towards the imperialist forces and the Indian ruling classes. The splitting of the Marxist-Leninist party and the movement into small factions was the major trend in the seventies. But the decade of 1980s saw the consolidation of the major Marxist-Leninist parties in important regions of the country. The formation of major parties took place during this time. You can see three strands in party building –the party in south India called itself CPI (ML) (People’s War) while in north India two parties emerged, Maoist Communist Centre (MCC) and CPI(ML) Party Unity.

 

These three parties worked in three different areas in isolation from each other and without knowing much about each other. But they considerably expanded the revolutionary areas and later they came together.

 

But let me also tell you that there are other ML parties which do not believe in taking up armed struggle but they want it to start it much later in the course of struggle. This can be understood as Phase Theory which many revolutionary parties in India conform to. According to this theory, in the first phase one has to prepare the masses through open and legal mass resistance struggles. In the second phase, underground organisation of the movement is carried out, while in the third phase the armed struggle is started. Though these parties had large mass bases initially, due to their faulty understanding, they became smaller and smaller. This Phase Theory did not work. But the first of the three revolutionary parties I have mentioned started armed struggle straight away, as they did not believe in phases of revolution. They analysed that a revolutionary situation already existed in Indian society and the people can be organized for an armed movement. Even they believed and understood that armed forms of struggles predate their own existence. Hence they need to lead them with the MLM ideology at the centre. They succeeded while the rest of the groups became weaker and alienated from the oppressed masses. The revolutionary classes and individuals in the society came together in the larger revolutionary groups and these groups expanded over time. On the other hand, those groups which believed that they should spread the revolutionary ideas by going to Parliament or believed that they should start the armed struggle much later could not carry forward the revolutionary movement. They remained for forty years in the same preparatory stage and are now smaller forces, almost non-existent, even forgoing their character as revolutionary forces.

But those who believed from the very beginning that the Phase Theory is wrong, that the Indian Parliament has no relevance in India and that the peoples’ struggles can and should start with armed struggle became major revolutionary forces. They joined hands and merged in 2004 to become Communist Party of India (Maoist), the largest and the most formidable revolutionary force in India. About ten smaller ML parties still exist, but they have no relevance, leading no major struggle, thereby existing only on paper mainly. One such organization is called CPI(ML) Liberation which contest parliamentary elections in some pockets of the country. People consider it to be a revisionist group like the CPI and CPI(M) which has no radical or revolutionary content and relevance. On the other hand, CPI(Maoist) has emerged as the single largest Marxist-Leninist-Maoist Party of the country after the coming together of all revolutionary forces in India. The movement it leads is still called the Naxalite movement because its origins lie in the Naxalbari village.

 

Indiensolidaritet: Ok, but I also heard that there are parities called CPI(Naxabari) and CPI(ML) (Janashakti) that exist and some people also call them progressive.

 

Saibaba: As I said, there are about ten parties including CPI(Naxabari), which is a small group with a revolutionary spirit. They have not gone down the path of other parliamentary Marxist-Leninist groups. They are closer to CPI(Maoist) than the revisionist ML groups. Similarly, two or three other very small parties which have a revolutionary content are much closer to CPI(Maoist). But the rest of the parties, CPI(ML) New Democracy, CPI(ML) Kanu Sanyal and some lesser known parties called CPI(ML) Provisional Committee, CPI(ML) Second Central Committee etc. have no revolutionary content left in them and are more or less like the revisionist parties. They hardly have any influence among the people.

 

Indiensolidaritet: We are using the flag of the Revolutionary People’s Councils and its logo for our organization. Can you say something on how and where this people’s government developed?

 

Saibaba: The Revolutionary People’s Councils (RPC) have come up gradually, particularly in Bastar encompassing south Chhattisgarh. There are about a few thousand of such RPCs in Bastar, and some of them have also come up in Odisha, Andrah Pradesh, Jharkandh and Bihar. But in Bastar RPCs and the peoples’ governments have developed to a higher level. In the rest of the areas too they are developing in the same direction. The RPCs are called “Janatana Sarkars” in the local language in Bastar. “Janatana” means of the people and “sarkar” means government. In the political language of the revolution they are called Revolutionary People’s Councils.

 

They are formed and elected by the people in a direct election where the entire village sits together and elects. The ruling-class elements in the village have no voting rights while all the people from the oppressed classes have voting rights. Once the people’s government is elected it acts like a government of the village which has several committees, such as the development committee, the health committee, the education committee, the security committee and the people’s militia. The people’s militia works under the village government or the RPC.

 

The government has full political power and it works for the people. If any elected member is not functioning according to the expectations and interests of the village and people, the constitution of the RPCs provides the right to the people to recall the member and re-elect another person in his/her place.

 

The people’s governments or the RPCs promote and develop indigenous technology in industry and agriculture. They don’t depend on the technology or the so-called development model that are imposed by imperialists and the ruling elite. The very idea of development according to people’s own technology, knowledge and skill is part of this experiment. The effort of the RPCs is to raise the level of peoples‚ consciousness and cultural level. The technology they use is in consonance with the consciousness and the level of the people’s culture so that there is no feeling of alienation between work and knowledge. In the process, they completely reject the technology developed and promoted by imperialists and the comprador bourgeoisie which are oppressive and exploitative. So the development that is experienced in the villages with RPCs is based on a self-reliant economy.

 

The hundreds and thousands of these committees and councils have established a self-reliant economy based on their own needs, own resources and their own technology. This is a complete negation of the model of development‚ dependent on imperialism, imperialist technology and imperialist funds which has been introduced by Indian rulers in 1947. It is through this imperialist technology and imperialist investment that the exploitation of our country and resources has taken place. The revolutionary people and the revolutionary people’s councils completely reject this. So in these areas of central and eastern India where agriculture was developed only to a rudimentary level, the people through RPCs have developed agriculture and fisheries, small-scale industry and so on. As a result, for the first time in the history of these regions, the vast masses of the people have successes in creating a surplus, and socialize it without allowing it transform into capital.

 

The RPCs have systematically carried out land distribution among the indigenous people and other oppressed people, so that there are no landless people in the areas under the RPCs today. RPCs put the surplus back in collective agricultural farming, while everybody gives their voluntary labour. The people produce their crops and a portion of it goes to the common pool overseen by the people’s government. The rest of the produce is distributed among the people as per their requirements. It is not just only the agricultural produce that the people collectively control, but the RPCs also regulate all trade and commercial activities in their purview to establish and ensure non-exploitative exchange. But they still require necessities like medicine and other products that the RPCs do not produce.

 

So the surplus produce that remains after being used for the village is sent to the market. The surplus that is generated in the village is used for the welfare of the village, again socialising it. But this is welfare from a revolutionary perspective, and has nothing to do with the government’s welfare schemes which are launched to keep social discontent under check. The surplus generated in this manner serves the people in that the RPC uses it for their health, education and other requirements apart from putting it back for the development of agriculture and industry, i.e., for further revolutionising production. In this way a new society is being built in India by the most oppressed of the people. As a part of this process, the feudal and reactionary cultural practices are being discarded on the one hand while imperialist culture and exploitation is being resisted on the other. RPCs are the foundations of this new society. The revolutionary movement wants to expand the RPCs from the village level to the block level and gradually a larger government will be formed at the district level.

 

With the development of RPCs in different parts of India, the power of the Indian rulers will be overthrown and people’s power will be established in their place. People’s power is at the centre of these Revolutionary People’s Councils. Like the slogan of “All Power to Soviets” in revolutionary Russia, “All Power to the People” is the slogan of the revolutionary movement in India. The RPCs have all the power, which is the implementation of the slogan “All Power to the People.” This is the guiding principle with which the RPCs function in all spheres of social life in the revolutionary regions.

 

Indiensolidaritet: Do you know how the Maoist party is related to the new government?

 

Saibaba: The people’s government has the party committee within its core. It is not the case that all the people in this government are party members, but a section of them are. When representatives to the RPCs are elected, both party members as well as non-party members will be there. The party functions through these party committees within the RPCs. So you can understand that the RPC is like a united front, because there are communists, non-communists and general people. CPI(Maoist) does not believe that Revolutionary People’s Councils should be run by the party alone. In the RPCs, members of the party work with the common people who have traditional wisdom and knowledge of the struggle. Like in a united front, in RPCs, Maoist party forces and non-party forces come together to form the people’s government. The party members elected to the government function as per party ideology to develop revolutionary consciousness among other members of the Revolutionary Peoples Council.

 

Indiensolidaritet: How is the People’s Liberation Guerrilla Army (PLGA) related to the people’s militia? Is the people’s militia the backbone of the PLGA?

 

Saibaba: As far as my study and understanding of this vast movement goes, I can say that the militia is constituted by the participation of a large number of people in the villages, and therefore the militia is called the basic force. Behind the militia functions the People’s Liberation Guerrilla Army. So the PLGA is very much dependent on the militia. The people’s militia is the basic force and the PLGA is the main revolutionary army. But all basic requirements related to the defence of the revolutionary areas and the revolutionary movement are taken care of by the militia because they are the largest force in number and it should be the principal force.

 

However, the growth of the people’s militia can only begin after the PLGA is established in an area. But once the people’s militia develops, the PLGA goes to the background. Then, the PLGA is called in only when the militia needs reinforcement. Otherwise the PLGA does not take the main role in the armed struggle. So the first on the frontlines of the revolutionary armed struggle is the people’s militia followed by the PLGA. This is what I have understood in the emergence and development the people’s militia in different areas of central and eastern India over the last two decades of the history of this trajectory.

 

Indiensolidaritet: Some people might say, “Oh the party is controlling everything.” What do you think?

 

Saibaba: People who do not know how a revolutionary party like the CPI (Maoist) functions or those who would like to malign the Maoist party may say such things. There are places where wrong things are practised or mistakes happen. But his is not the policy of the CPI (Maoist). If you see the reality and closely follow the movement, you can understand that the CPI (Maoist) gives primary importance to the agency of the common people in their area. It is the people who themselves take the initiative in struggles. There are many examples of this. The roadmap of how to develop a village in a revolutionary way or how to develop guerrilla warfare is not centrally given by the CPI (Maoist). In these areas the people know of this through practice through their own history of struggles. For example, the indigenous people have a long history of waging guerrilla fight. They fought the armies of the Mughal emperors and the British colonialists in hundreds of rebellions in all of the last three hundred or more years of their known history, and this is equally true of their earlier history as well. This is a people’s history which is yet to be written. They might not have termed it as guerrilla warfare, but the history of the peoples’ uprisings in these areas is invariably of guerrilla fight. There were about 150 armed rebellions against the British by the tribal people mostly written but many more which were not yet properly written by the indigenous people, and in each one of them they won while the British were defeated. The mighty force of British imperialists was defeated by the tribal people with superior knowledge of the terrain and with simple bows and arrows. They seized the weapons of the imperialist invaders and used them against the British. Not always more developed social formation has won over the less developed social formation. One such massive uprising is the Bhumkal Rebellion of 1910 in the Bastar region. The rebellious tribal people used sophisticated guerrilla methods against the British forces and defeated them.

In popular memory all these methods are still alive because they have taught each other and passed on the experience of guerrilla warfare from one generation to the other. Therefore, it is not the CPI (Maoist) who taught guerrilla warfare techniques to the indigenous people. Rather, it is the indigenous people who taught them how to wage guerrilla warfare. A public intellectual in India called B D Sharma who has worked with the adivasis for the last 50 years always reminds us about this in his public lectures and writings. In this example we can see that the initiative, assertion and creativity in every stage of the struggle come from amongst the people, including the development model they have chalked out for themselves. In the revolutionary movement the people are at the centre. The Maoists give utmost importance to the people’s initiative, assertion and participation, particularly the people’s agency in the revolution. Any party which places itself at the centre can’t become an instrument of revolutionary change because it’s the people’s agency that develops to transform the society in toto that that can play this role. So the people and their party advance the movement together. This is really where the party has played its role, by creating the conditions for the people to take initiative and unleash their full potentials, creativity and regeneration in the making of a new society free from exploitation and oppression. And then history is created by the masses of people themselves.

 

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Long Live Mao: Modern Insurgency in the Republic of India

 

by Ivan Welch

 

Journal Article | December 7, 2011 - 8:24am

 

http://smallwarsjour...public-of-india

 

 

Abstract: Economic and political changes in India have created an opportunity for the nascent Maoist movement to expand and accelerate a people’s war. Where multinational economic interests overlay any landscape of social conflict, some violent interaction is to be expected. The Communist Party of India (Maoist) is committed to armed struggle and is championing those affected by the government’s turn to rapid exploitation of natural resources. The exacerbation of perceived injustices will create a spiral of violence resulting in uncertain outcomes for all players involved.

 

What is India’s greatest national security threat? Is it a nuclear armed Pakistan, an increasingly powerful and present Chinese military, or Islamic terrorist attacks in major cities? In 2010 India’s Prime Minister Monmohan Singh told senior military officers and foreign dignitaries that “Naxalism and Left-wing extremism pose the greatest threat to our national security.”[1]

 

The forty-four year old uprising clearly has the attention of the central government of India. A decade of expanded exploitation of mineral resources in the contested areas has exacerbated the conflict between the Maoist insurgency and the state. Billions of dollars of resources and the stability of several of India’s states are at stake. As the government of India and state governments step up the military and police pressure, the Maoist leadership has also risen to the challenge. India’s Home Minister P. Chidambaram has said that the Maoists operate in 31% of India’s 626 districts, are capable of striking in 80 districts, and virtually dominate 36 of the districts.[2] This operational area is about the size of California.

 

The Maoists have a sophisticated leadership well versed in Maoist political thought, active in people’s movements, and increasingly experienced in guerilla warfare. The various branches of these people’s movements have successfully consolidated in the recent years.[3] Current reports of increased activities by these insurgent elements are beginning to reveal the broader strategic plan for consolidation and expansion of the Maoist movement.

 

 

Communist Insurgency in the Republic of India

 

Communist revolution shook the world for a century, with upheaval in Europe, consolidation in the USSR, and expansion in Asia. Western nations contained these movements directly or by proxy throughout their former colonies or areas of interest. The Cold War concluded as capitalism from without, crushed communism in the former Soviet Union and capitalism from within transformed it in the People’s Republic of China. For the Western world, the ubiquitous “Red” menace waned and was replaced by other ideologies considered radical and terroristic.

 

The invasions of Afghanistan (2001) and Iraq (2003) have plunged the Western world more visibly into the business of insurgent warfare. Again, nations and armies wrestle with the nature of conflict where destructive force is not the optimal answer to every challenge. Results have been mixed. Not since the jungles of Southeast Asia have the armies of the West been stymied by an unconventional force motivated by ideology and geography.

 

Yet this type of struggle has been continuous for several nations around the world. India is the meeting place of old school communist ideology and the expansion of insurgent warfare.

 

Today’s Maoist insurgency in India is complex in its issues, protagonists, and settings, staged against a backdrop of ancient land-based claims, populated with actors as diverse as India itself, and storied by a narrative of past harms, current ideologies, and future possibilities. This drama will decide the fate of indigenous peoples, the utility of past political ideals, the success of international corporations, and the aspirations of an emerging world power.

 

 

Background on the Naxalites and Maoists

 

Republic of India

 

The modern state of India was born from insurrection, insurgency, and struggle for self- determination. Those battles continued as the new nation consolidated its borders and jurisdictions.[4] The current upsurge in disruption, destruction, and violence associated with the Maoist insurgency in India is the latest episode in a long struggle of people groups fighting for recognition, rights, and justice.

 

The elements of insurrection, rebellion, and revolution exist in far too many locations around the world. Withholding of basic human rights, exploitation of minorities, and demographic youth bulges lie ready to ignite into full scale upheaval. India has all of these.

 

Cobbled together by the colonial interests of the British, India was born from a vast and disparate mélange of peoples, languages, and topographies. The British masters had conquered Rajas, defeated moguls, faced down mutiny, and subjugated all classes and castes of the subcontinent. Consolidation of commodities, manufacturing, and wealth was a primary goal for colonial success. The structures required for this wide effort marginalized and exploited the majority of the native population. This was accomplished, by and large, with the assistance of the Hindu and Muslim elites.

 

A newly-independent India inherited the modern structures and institutions of nationhood from the remnants of British colonialism. India immediately embarked upon its own imperialism as it consumed kingdoms, annexed foreign enclaves, and overthrew erstwhile sovereigns. Within the bounds of the new nation, independence movements, insurgencies, rebels, and all manner of self-determinate groups chafed at the new imperial yoke.

 

India’s imperialism seemed more like national consolidation as it strove to establish a social democracy that would look to the aspirations of its vast and divergent peoples. India’s centrally planned economy was soon characterized by complex regulation, overall protectionism, and state ownership. The wealth of the subcontinent was no longer being extracted by the British, yet development lagged, poverty continued, and corrupt power institutionalized. The perpetual struggle for social and economic justice continued to be hampered by residual elites.

 

 

Communist Party of India (CPI)

 

The Communist Party of India (CPI) tried several routes to political power as India shook off British colonial rule. Initially it supported armed struggle against feudal lords and princely states. These peasant uprisings were crushed and the CPI abandoned armed struggle, opting for political action. In 1957 the CPI became the largest opposition party in the national general elections and even won in the state elections of Kerala. This was the first time the Congress Party lost a state election to a single opposition party since independence in 1947. Years of political and ideological struggle created many factions and divisions in the CPI. Lack of progress in land reform and social justice, spurred the rise of other communist groups with more radical approaches to change.

 

 

CPI (Marxist) and Naxalbari

 

In 1964 the CPI formally split and the Communist Party of India (Marxist) [CPI (M)] was formed. Both parties were committed to the parliamentary path, but CPI (M) could not hold its first central committee meeting until 1966 because so many of its leaders and members were in jail. In 1967 a peasant uprising in Naxalbari, West Bengal, broke out under the leadership of hard-line local CPI (M) leaders. The West Bengal government, known as the United Front, was supported by CPI and CPI (M). The state government treated the Naxalite movement as a law and order issue and crushed the uprising. The CPI (M) continued to support the United Front government. This caused a rift within the CPI (M) throughout all India. In 1968, those CPI (M) members committed to revolution formed the All India Coordination Committee of Communist Revolutionaries (ICCCR). The ICCCR recommitted to armed struggle as the true path to obtaining social justice in a repressive state. Over the next decades political activity, armed actions, and internecine war resulted in a fractious revolutionary movement.

 

Splintering of the Communist Movement

 

Each faction and splinter-group struggled with their comrades and the government. Party purges, murder of “class enemies,” vigilantism, and police reprisals ensured a steady stream of beatings, rapes, and killings for forty years. Doctrinally linked to the peasants, scheduled castes, and tribal peoples, the Maoists gathered in the forests and rural areas of central India. It is here where the landless poor and tenant farmers are at the mercy of feudal systems. The tribes have long been without rights to the land and forests they inhabit and suffer exploitation by government and commercial agents. Lacking any real success in cities, the Maoists focused on the undeveloped areas of each targeted state. Here they found marginalized people to champion and jungle to melt away into.

 

 

Consolidation into CPI (Maoist)

 

The uprising in Naxalbari became the touchstone for armed struggle in the Indian communist community. Today the Government of India uses “Naxalite” and the “Naxal problem” to describe the armed movement and its actions. In the Indian media, “Maoists” and “Naxalite” are often interchangeable. Amongst themselves, names and associations vary based upon local leadership and geographic area. The “Naxalite movement has mostly been characterized by fragmented groups and innumerable splits.”[5] Repression by central and state governments has driven a survival-of-the-fittest evolution that has now culminated in the Communist Party of India (Maoist) [CPI (M)]. This current flag bearer for armed people’s war was formed in 2004, as the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) People's War merged with Maoist Communist Centre. These two groups have a historical commitment to armed struggle and have now formed the CPI (M), which is outlawed by the government of India. They now claim to be waging “the most organized and militant struggle” for the liberation of the people of India.[6] It is under this leadership that the Maoist insurgency now severely affects some 83 districts (India has 626 districts) spread across nine states.[7]

 

 

Government of India

 

With its colonial background, India has a continuous history of dealing with insurgency. Formed from the imperial leavings of the British, India immediately experienced rebellion all across its newly-formed nationhood. The Indian constitution reflects this political struggle for recognition. Originally, there were 14 official regional languages recognized. In 1967, the number rose to 18 by constitutional amendment. Today 22 languages and English are official languages.[8] In addition, some 141 other “mother tongues” are also officially recognized by the government.[9] Peoples continue to strive for new states in India based upon language and historical association with the land. Keeping the Republic of India from fragmentation has been a continuous concern of the government.

 

 

Economic Reform

 

Since the economic reforms of Prime Minister P. V. Narasimha Rao (1991-1996) the government of India has consistently liberalized laws regarding a market-driven economy. Foreign direct investment, privatization of industry, and the opening of the Indian market to multinational corporations have increased GDP at a rate that now rivals China.

 

This break from the more centralized social democratic-based economy of post-colonial India has placed much of the subcontinent’s natural resources into the open market place. State governments have signed Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) with mining, manufacturing, and energy interests that involve trillions of dollars of commodities and construction.

 

MOUs

 

In 2000, two new Indian states , Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh, were formed at a fortuitous time for developers and politicians. Within days, much of India’s mineral wealth came under the control of these two new states.

 

Interestingly, Jharkhand (created from 18 districts of the State of Bihar) came into being as a State on the birth anniversary of a local tribal rebel leader, Bhagwan Birsa Munda. He is famous for revolting against the British, who were extracting the mineral wealth there. The current State government of Jharkhand points to post-independence hegemony of Northern Bihar and includes Bihar with the colonial British in gaining from the exploitation of the mineral wealth in the tribal area. Ironically the Maoists have organized a tribal-infused insurgency that once again fights exploitation of mineral wealth. The State of Jharkhand is now the sponsor of mineral and wealth extraction. It has MOUs with several multinational corporations and domestic firms. Jharkhand admits to $66.4 billion in MOUs as of 2009.[10] These MOUs grant access to land, mineral deposits, transportation rights of way, electrical power, and water resources on a grand scale.[11] Some of these MOUs are now under review as past government ministers have invested heavily in companies with which they had signed agreements.[12]

 

The State government of Chhattisgarh touts its convenient location in central India as a logical power generation source. Large deposits of coal, iron ore, limestone, bauxite, dolomite and tin ore are present.[13] The State government looks forward to long years of industrial development with numerous domestic and multinational corporations. Chhattisgarh admits to $11.6 billion in MOUs as of 2010[14].

 

In addition to Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh, the State of Orissa also boasts large deposits of mineral wealth. Its resources of bauxite, chromite, coal, iron ore, manganese and nickel ore constitute approximately 50%, 98%, 25%, 35%, 27% and 91% respectively of India’s total resources of these minerals.[15] The state of Orissa admits to $78 billion in MOUs in steel, aluminum, power generation and general industry as of 2009[16].

 

 

Clash of Commercial and Civil Interests

 

Who Lives in the Forests

 

The surviving indigenous peoples of India, or Adivasis, make up some 8.2 percent of the national population.[17] In India this means 84.3 million people-more than the population of Germany. Officially known as “scheduled tribes,” these diverse and complex people groups are concentrated in the hills and forests of central India, much like the mineral wealth.

 

The Supreme Court of India recognized the Adivasis as the original inhabitants of India.[18] They also acknowledged, “as a group [they] are one of the most marginalized and vulnerable communities in India characterized by high level of poverty, illiteracy, unemployment, disease, and landlessness.”[19]

 

Colonial history records tribal resistance and revolts throughout the eastern reaches of British India. These early Adivasis revolts set the stage for the current Maoist drama. Continually resisting exploitation, these tribal people have been forced from their villages, cut off from ancestral lands, and exploited by government and commercial agents.

 

 

Who Wants the Minerals

 

Several multinational and national corporations have expanded operations to extract the vast mineral wealth in the ground.

 

The steel industry in India was decontrolled in the early 1990s. Tata Steel, Limited has been mining ore and producing steel since 1903. Now Arcellor-Mittal, POSCO, Essar, and JSW Ispat all stand ready to advance India’s ranking as the 7th largest steel producer in the world.[20] This requires expansion in land use, water consumption, and energy requirements.

 

Vedanta Aluminum Ltd is now extracting bauxite and manufacturing aluminum at increasing rates. India boasts the 5th largest reserves of bauxite in the world.[21] It is hard to imagine that this lucrative resource will be allowed to remain under the bare feet of indigenous tribes. Conflicts between corporations and Adivasis have resulted in some delays in industrial site development. Yet relentless pressure for access and extraction have not ceased. With the number of MOUs between government and corporations, it seems clear that the expansion of India’s economy is the primary goal at the moment. Industry and government are on the same team.

 

The government of India recognizes historic systematic “expropriation and exploitation of marginal farmers, share croppers and farm servants by the upper castes” in Chhattisgarh and other Naxalite-affected states.[22] Political and social activists see these tensions as the precise cause and justification of the Maoist insurgency. Activist and author Arundhati Roy has said, “Today, it’s true that usurping of land, the colonization of the land of the poor is at the heart of the unfolding civil war in our country. If you look at the map of India today; the forests, the Adivasis [tribal people], the natural resources, the Maoists and the civil war, they are all stacked one on top of another. You have to be blind not to be able to notice the vertical connection between them all.”[23] Here is a geographic convergence of mineral wealth, scheduled tribes, and increased focus of government and commercial agents.[24]

 

It appears that the government and economic elites see the extraction of the mineral wealth as a prerequisite for national economic growth and security. The growing Indian middle class may unwittingly indorse the displacement of scheduled tribes and poor through their own desire for a modern lifestyle.[25] The most feared impact of the Maoists may be their drag on the continued economic growth of the nation.

 

 

State Actions in Counterinsurgency

 

In 2006, while speaking to State Chief Ministers, India’s Prime Minister Monmohan Singh identified the ongoing Maoist insurgency as the greatest national security challenge to the nation. He said, “There can be no political compromise with terror. No inch conceded. No compassion shown.”[26] In the five years since this first declaration, money, material, and manpower have flowed to the States involved.

 

An early attempt to forestall Naxal influence was to create an anti-Maoist militia in Jharkhand. This group was called the Salwa Judum (Peace Hunt) and was formed from tribal people and villagers. Government reports hailed them as a spontaneous response to Maoist terror from the Adivasis themselves. Soon deserted villages, displacement of people to camps, and claims of rapes, beatings, and murder tainted the government position. Independent reports continued to vie with media coverage as to the effectiveness and human costs of this hunt for peace.[27] The criticisms seem to be vindicated with the recent banning of these types of militia by the Supreme Court of India.[28]

 

In 2006 the government of India formed a Naxalite Management Division in the Ministry of Home Affairs.[29] For the past several years it has begun executing a two-prong strategy of stick and carrot to address the increasingly disruptive Naxalite – Maoist movement. As State governments enter into talks and negotiations, the central government is committed to bolstering the Ministry of Home Affairs paramilitary forces already engaged in the “Red Corridor”.

 

The nation’s Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) has borne the burden over the past several years. Exact numbers are difficult to attain, but some 40,000 to 70,000 CRPF personnel are operating in the Naxal-affected states. A CRPF Battalion numbers over 1000 jawans (privates or constables) and is armed with rifles. The CRPF has also organized specially-trained and armed battalions specifically for dealing with the Naxal-insurgent threat. These COBRA (COmmando Battalion for Resolute Action) units are especially aggressive in searching out insurgents.[30]

 

The Ministry of Home Affairs has augmented the CRPF with battalions from the Border Security Force (BSF) and the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP). These forces are organized, equipped and trained as light infantry.

 

In addition the central government has authorized and funded 37 India reserve battalions in the nine leftwing extremist-effected states. These battalions recruit from the local area, so they provide opportunity for employment and security improvement. The central government has also authorized an additional 12,000 special police officers (SPOs) in the states of Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Orissa, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra. This program is under some controversy in the courts, yet is very popular with the central and State governments. [31] These officers are drawn from local tribes and villages in the areas involved. Funds have been allocated to increase police salaries, improve police stations, and to build counterinsurgency schools.[32]

The Maoist insurgency will experience more pressure from central forces in States such as Jharkhand. Jharkhand was under President’s Rule (administrated directly from the ruling government in New Delhi) before the election of the current Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in September 2010. Current Chief Minister of Jharkhand Arjun Munda recently said, "the government has chalked out an integrated programme under which state police, central paramilitary forces, central and state intelligence agencies are working in tandem."[33]

 

The State of Orissa has responded to demands made by the Maoist insurgency after the negotiated release of a government official held by the Maoists. This is of significant concern to the central government of India and neighboring states. Many see this as a sign of weakness that will allow insurgency a safe haven. Central forces remain vigilant in Orissa and seek to provide security during these political maneuvers. Similar concerns are mounting in West Bengal.[34]

 

The State governments and central government are often at odds as how to confront the sources and symptoms of the Maoist insurgency. The central government is pushing vast amounts of cash into affected States for use in policing and economic relief. However, the States continue to push back against central command and control.[35]

 

 

Insurgent Structure and Strategy

 

The CPI (M) is made up of the survivors of four decades of government imprisonment, internal purges, and continual armed struggle in the harshest of conditions. They remain true to their vision of class struggle and armed revolt. The party General Secretary, Ganapathy aka Mupalla Laxman Rao, has said: “our party has an all India character, good political militant mass base in several states, a People’s Liberation Guerilla Army (PLGA) fighting enemy in several states and emerging New Democratic People’s power in Dandkaranya [an area in central India which comprises predominately tribal districts of five states of India namely Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Orissa], Jharkhand and some other parts of India.”[36] They see themselves as an alternative political power who champions the oppressed people by waging a just war against the violence of the state. They see the current government of India as being in league with multinational corporations in the looting of mineral wealth and creation of an autocratic and fascist state.

 

True to their Maoist heritage, the movement is organized by ideological cadres working at the grassroots level. Increased paramilitary and police pressure have provided targets of opportunity for the armed insurgents. It has also necessitated and energized an increase of activity and strengthening of leadership in the jungles and villages. Maoist leader Koteswar Rao, has long stated the plan to create “liberated areas” throughout West Bengal, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, and Orissa.[37]

 

The CPI (M) strategy appears to be one of action and confrontation rather than stepping back from the challenges of the government. The Maoists plan to wage a guerilla war against the state’s increased paramilitary and police actions. This has been demonstrated by their hit and run attacks, ambushes, and use of improvised explosive devices (IEDs). Armed squads and platoons of the PLGA now exist and are capable of coming together for larger-scale actions. Dalam (armed group) commanders are responsible for the military wing operating in the jungles. Deputy commanders focus on villages where they can recruit new members and organize logistic and intelligence support. These leaders have been in these same areas for years, if not decades. [38]

 

Their strategy is to mobilize the villagers and rural poor to support the insurgency with increasing numbers and effects. The government would like a quick resolution, whereas the Maoists understand a long conflict is to their advantage. The CPI (M) recognizes the need for a mass support base, a growing PLGA, and liberated areas for long-term success. The success of the Maoists in Nepal continues to inform the CPI (M).[39] They specifically plan to spread the conflict to other areas and prolong its duration. Ganapathi, General Secretary of the CPI (M), has said: “We shall spread the struggle against the State everywhere and strive to win over the broad masses to the side of the people’s cause. We shall fight the State offensive by mobilizing the masses more militantly against the police...”[40] Their ultimate goal is to expand guerilla war to mobile war as they develop the guerilla army into a regular army.

 

In some States CPI (M) cadres have gained sponsors, allies, and partners among the elected political leadership, local traders, and industry. [41] Much of this has come through a history of threats and violence. This influence could be the springboard from jungle to urban areas.

 

 

Current Situation

 

Violence

 

Maoists continue to operate with a large degree of freedom of movement and security. During the high profile Chhattisgarh state elections in April 2009, some sixty companies of CRPF were deployed to suppress Maoist interference. Embarrassingly, the rebels seized an express passenger train and held over 700 hostages for several hours.[42] Government forces could not respond before the Maoist chose to release them. In April 2010 the Maoists targeted paramilitary forces, killing 75 CRPF personnel in a spectacular ambush.[43] In May 2011 in the state of Chhattisgarh, 25 security personal were killed in a Maoist attack.[44]

 

Government forces continue to announce the killing and capture of Maoist leaders and cadre. In each incident of violence, initiated by the insurgents or government forces, civilians are killed, wounded or put at risk. Attrition and buildup of forces continues on both sides.

 

 

Army Involvement

 

The Army of India has avoided involvement in the many police actions across the vast nation. The Armed Forces Special Security Act enables the use of the National Army in Jammu / Kahsmir and the Assam rebellion. Now the Army has started counterinsurgency training right in the heart of the Maoist-liberated area. The Chhattisgarh district of Bastar has seen Maoist violence for decades.[45] Now regular Army units will conduct counterinsurgency training in the district.[46] The government of India has announced that the brigade in training may fire in self- defense if attacked by Maoists. [47]

 

Some Indians are concerned that the government will use the Army against the Maoists under the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act of 1958 (AFSPA).[48] Once an area has been declared “disturbed” and the act invoked, Armed Forces have a writ to use deadly force, arrest without warrant, and to enter and search property.[49] The CPI (M) has long anticipated the introduction of the Indian Army into the struggle.

 

 

Potential Futures

 

The Maoist – Naxalite Movement has smoldered across central India for decades. Occasionally its fervor has been quenched and cadres decimated by violent and deadly government action.[50] After years in the wilderness, the CPI (M) is now lean and strong, gazing out from the jungles to a promised land of the growing Indian working class. If the Maoist movement continues to expand its operations and influence in the forests and villages of India, they will return with vigor to the cities and the workers there.

 

The currently increased government pressure of paramilitary direct action and policing serves to increase recruiting by the PLGA and bring more weapons into their arsenal. Lack of coordination between States and among all government forces allows the Maoists freedom of movement and sanctuary.[51]

 

Commercial interests are eager to move ahead with the mining, construction, manufacture, and largesse they are experiencing.[52] Governments, both national and State, are committed to assisting that development, but millions of people must be displaced and dealt with to allow this, and it is exactly this displacement that will provide the Maoists a sea in which to swim.

 

The introduction of the Indian Armed Forces into the districts of Chhattisgarh and affected states would bloody the Maoists badly. Yet the social costs of collateral damage and the sheer level of destruction could change the domestic political climate in unknown ways.

 

So what potential futures are there?

 

1. The central government continues to pour money and material into the affected States to address the Naxal problem. This money continues to be diverted, pilfered, and misused by government agents at each level. State governments pick their own path of negotiation and policing. The Maoists, in turn, continue to expand by use of sanctuary, recruitment, and collusion with industry and State.

 

2. The central government uses the Armed Forces to crush the Maoist cadre and PLGA. The chaos of this conflict amongst the Adivasis and poor villagers creates a movement of concern in the Indian liberal and middle class that disrupts current political alignments. The constant call of the CPI (M) party for “all democratic, patriotic forces, national liberation activists and to all civil rights activists, organizations, students, intellectuals, teachers, writers, artistes, doctors, lawyers, media friends, workers and peasants to come out on the streets...”[53] may fall on sympathetic ears.

 

3. The central government uses all means necessary to crush the Maoists and accelerate the development of mining, manufacture, and power production. The middle class sees this as a necessary step in the movement to superpower status and the expansion of modernity to the nation.

 

The government of India has proclaimed this Naxalite – Maoist movement to be the greatest threat to national security. This may become a self-fulfilling prophesy.

 

The views expressed in FMSO publications and reports are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official policy or position of the Department of the Army, Department of Defense, or the U.S. Government. Clearance SAPA-OSR #223; OSD #11-S-3411 on 6 Sep 11

 

[1] “Naxalism is the greatest threat, says Monmohan”, The Hindu, 22 October 2010, http://www.thehindu....ticle843181.ece

[2] Jeremy Page, “India sets target of three years to eliminate threat from Maoists”, The Times, 12 March 2010, http://www.timesonli...icle7059646.ece

[3] Sudeep Chakravarti, Red Sun: Travels in Naxalite Country, New Delhi: Penguin Global, 2008

[4] Kalyanaraman, Sankaran, “The Indian Way in Counterinsurgency”, in Democracies and Small Wars, London, 2003, p.86

[5] Kujur, Rajat, “Naxal Movement in India: A Profile”, Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies Research Papers, New Delhi, India September 2008, p.4

[6] http://redantliberat...st-party-of-...

[7] The Government of India Ministry of Home Affairs Annual Report 2010-2011, p.220

[8] The Constitution of India, page 330, EIGHTH SCHEDULE, Articles 344 (1) and 351]. Languages

[9] http://censusindia.g...e/Language/g...

[10] http://www.business-...-land-jharkh...

[11] Memorandum of Understanding Between Government of Jharkhand and Mittal Steel Company, N.V. dated 8 October 2005

[12] http://articles.econ.../29613216_1_...

[13] http://india.gov.in/...hhattisgarh.php

[14] http://www.business-...-to-sign-any...

[15] http://india.gov.in/...eral_orissa.php

[16] http://www.teamorissa.org/MOU.asp

[17] http://censusindia.g...lance/scst.aspx

[18]In the Supreme Court of India Criminal Appellate Jurisdiction Criminal Appeal No. 11 / 2011, page 1 https://docs.google....srcid=0B6hXZ...

[19] Ibid, page 2.

[20] http://steel.nic.in/overview.htm

[21] http://www.kumareduc...=com_content...

[22] http://cg.gov.in/pro...gin.htm#history

[23] http://revolutionary...dhati-roy-on...

[24] http://www.currentin...murder-money...

[25] http://www.nytimes.c...t-letter31.html

[26] http://www.ft.com/cm...40.html#ixzz...

[27] http://www.pucl.org/...salwa_judum.pdf

[28] http://xa.yimg.com/k...ame/wc25007.pdf

[29] The Government of India Ministry of Home Affairs Annual Report 2010-2011, p.4

[30] http://naxal.jharkha...on-for-resol...

[31] http://www.thehindu....icle2221935.ece

[32] http://www.punjabsta...n-Naxal-affe...

[33] http://articles.time...i/29427511_1...

[34] http://timesofindia....ed-over-slow...

[35] http://articles.time.../29174026_1_...

[36] http://southasiarev....rviews-cpima...

[37] http://sorev.wordpre...-chattopadhyay/

[38] http://articles.time...r/28309133_1...

[39] Thomas Marks, Maoist People’s War in Post-Vietnam Asia, Bangkok: White Lotus Press, 2007, p.305.

[40] http://sorev.wordpre...e-web-content/ Sparks Near the Powder Key of India

[41] http://www.indianexp...aoist-cadre-...

[42] http://articles.time...i/28035685_1...

[43] http://www.indiatvne..._In_Naxal_At...

[44] http://www.nipsa.in/...-along-oriss...

[45] Pandita Rahul, Hello Bastar: The Untold Story of India’s Maoist Movement. Westland Ltd: New Delhi, 2011

[46] http://www.himalayan...cle.aspx?id=298

[47] http://www.telegraph...y_14216517.jsp#

[48] http://www.asianage....osed-naxal-a...

[49] http://www.humanista...powers-act-o...

[50] http://redantliberat...st-party-of-...

[51] http://economictimes...3.cms?prtpage=1

[52] http://www.indianexp...a-by-july-en...

[53] http://ajadhind.word...india-maoist...

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http://naxalrevolution.blogspot.ie/#!/2012/09/basaguda-encounter-fact-finding.html

 

Link to Video -

 

Detailed Report of the Fact Finding Committee -

http://www.countercurrents.org/crdo100712.htm

 

Brief Summary

 

An all-India fact-finding team of rights activists belonging to the Coordination of Democratic Rights Organisations (CDRO) visited the area in Bijapur district of Chhattisgarh where 17 adivasis died as a result of firing by CRPF forces on the night of June 28, 2012. The team visited the villages of Sarkeguda, Kottaguda and Rajpenta on July 6 and 7 and elicited information about the events.

 

About 60 adivasis of these three villages assembled from around 8 pm on June 28 in an open area between Sarkeguda and Kottaguda. Such meetings where decisions have to be taken collectively are usually held during the night since adivasis are busy with work most of the day.

 

While the meeting was going on, a large contingent of CRPF personnel and CoBRA (Commando Battalion for Resolute Action, a specialised anti-naxalite guerilla unit of the CRPF) commandos numbering well over a hundred, cordoned off the area. According to the villagers, at about 10 pm there was gunfire without any warning.

 

It was clear to the fact-finding team that a peaceful gathering of adivasis, none of whom carried any firearms, was surrounded by the CRPF and without any warning fired upon indiscriminately. As a result of this firing, 17 adivasis died. It was plain slaughter that night near Sarkeguda.

 

At the end of the day we left the villages and the villagers with the killer forces around them. Not only in Basaguda, many and many villages of central India are now surrounded with these killer forces, paramilitary force, with clear assignment of committing murder. This attitude of Indian state needs to be condemned from every quarters.

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http://naxalrevolution.blogspot.ie/#!/2012/09/lawyers-fighting-cases-of-accused.html

 

Lawyers fighting cases of accused Maoists face Harrasment

 

 

Lawyers who represent terror suspects often end up being seriously harassed, discovers Sonia Sarkar

 

 

2908law.jpg

 

Backlash: Lawyer Anjali Waghmare, whose house was attacked after she took up the case of Ajmal Kasab, the prime accused in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack

 

Director Anurag Kashyap’s forthcoming film Shahid, which tells the story of slain lawyer Shahid Azmi, is set to be screened at the Toronto Film Festival next month. Around the same time, Azmi’s lawyer brother Khalid will be fighting for justice for him before the Bombay High Court.

 

Shahid Azmi was shot dead by three gunmen in his chamber in a Mumbai suburb in 2010 — two years after he took up the case of 26/11 co-accused Fahim Ansari. He had also represented many Muslim boys accused of being involved in the Ghatkopar blasts (2003), Malegaon blasts (2006) and Mumbai’s 7/11 (2006). That’s not all. Azmi had taken up the cases of 64 suspected operatives of the Indian Mujahideen (IM) involved in the Ahmedabad terror strikes in 2008.

 

“Four months before his death, he told me that there would be attempts to murder him. But he continued to fight for the accused,” says his brother Khalid Azmi.

 

Shahid Azmi is not the only one who has suffered — in his case with fatal consequences — for having chosen to defend terror suspects. In fact, such is the backlash against them — from society, from fundamentalist groups and even from the police — that getting a lawyer to represent those allegedly linked to terrorist and Maoist activities is becoming more and more difficult.

 

Take the case of Abdul Shakeel Pasha, who was arrested in Delhi in 2010 on charges of alleged links to Maoists. He languished in a Surat jail for three months before senior advocate Kirit Panwala came to his rescue.

 

“Before Panwala, four lawyers refused to take up the case,” says Pasha, who runs a non government organisation called Haq in Delhi. Though he got bail six months after his arrest, his case is still on.

 

Section 304 of the Code of Criminal Procedure lays down that the state shall provide legal aid to the accused in certain cases. But experts point out that in most cases, the legal aid provided to terror suspects is perfunctory. “Often, lawyers don’t take the trouble of meeting the accused in jail. They barely investigate the case and the accused do not get a fair representation in court,” says Bilaspur-based senior advocate Sudha Bharadwaj.

 

Of course, one reason for the lack of interest in representing these undertrials is that the state pays a pittance to defence lawyers — a sum of Rs 1,500 to Rs 5,000. “If the government can pay Rs 30,000 to Rs 1 lakh to a public prosecutor, why can’t this be paid to a lawyer who represents the accused,” asks senior advocate Colin Gonsalves of Human Rights Law Network, a lawyers’ collective that takes up human rights cases.

 

However, the few who do try to defend terror suspects to the best of their abilities complain that the environment is not at all conducive for them to work freely.

 

“Our photographs and identity cards are taken away by the police before we are allowed to meet the accused. We are treated like criminals,” says Bharadwaj.

 

A Human Rights Watch report titled The ‘Anti Nationals’ on the detention and torture of terrorism suspects in India released in February this year too states that when lawyers met suspects in jail “police in some cases unlawfully remained within earshot, making it difficult for the detainees to reveal abuse or seek counsel.”

 

In Chhattisgarh, where there are many Maoist-related cases, lawyers represent ing the accused are often harassed by the police. In 2009, one tribal lawyer, Alban Toppo, was allegedly beaten up by the police for taking up the case of human rights activist Kopa Kunjam who was arrested on murder charges.

 

Another senior Chhattisgarh lawyer, Amarnath Pandey, has been charged with sedition and 12 other criminal cases since 2000. Pandey had taken up a fake encounter case. “The state targets such lawyers as they don’t want the voice of the accused to be heard in court,” he alleges.

 

However, Chhattisgarh government spokesperson Baijendra Kumar denies these charges. “The state has no reason to target lawyers. If any illegal action is being taken against them, the state is answerable to the court.”

 

But charges of discrimination against lawyers who defend terror suspects are too numerous to be dismissed outright. Cuttack’s Pratima Das, who represented many villagers with alleged “Maoists” links, was arrested on charges of sedition and attempt to murder in 2008. She was acquitted only after having spent two years in jail. She has now filed a petition in Cuttack High Court, demanding a compensation of Rs 20 lakh from the state.

 

Harassment of such defence lawyers is common in Kashmir too. When senior advocates Miyan Abdul Qayoom and G.N. Shaheen took up the cases of young boys arrested on charges of stone pelting in 2010, both were arrested under the Public Safety Act and had to spend almost nine months in jail.

 

It is not state bodies alone that tend to make things tough for these lawyers. Often, they face flak from their own fraternity as well. Senior Lucknow lawyers Mohammed Shoaib and A.M. Faridi faced the wrath of their colleagues when they took up the cases of several of those accused in serial blasts in Lucknow and Faizabad in 2007. Earlier, various bar associations across UP had passed a resolution that no lawyer would defend the accused in terrorism cases.

 

“Lawyers called me ‘a terrorist’ and started beating me up. My clothes were ripped off and I was paraded in the court campus in my undergarments,” says Shoaib, recalling the treatment meted out to him in 2008 in a Lucknow court complex. Two years later, the Bar Council of Uttar Pradesh apologised to him in writing.

 

When lawyers defy such bans, they are attacked by political parties too. After 26/11, the Mumbai Metropolitan Magistrate Bar Association passed a resolution not to defend 26/11 accused Ajmal Kasab. Despite that, Anjali Waghmare took up his case, following which her house was allegedly attacked by Shiv Sainiks.

 

Again, in 2010 the Mumbai High Court ordered the Maharashtra State Legal Aid Services Authority to appoint criminal Lawyers Amin Solkar and Farhana Shah for Kasab. Shah was promptly labelled “anti-national” — even though he had been appointed by the court. “Many lawyers have asked me to leave the case but I didn’t because I saw Kasab as just another client,” says Shah, who is also the defence counsel for the accused in the Mumbai blasts of 1993.

 

A laudable sentiment. But if lawyers continue to be harassed for carrying out their professional duty, how many will have the resilience to defend terror suspects?

 

Is the government listening?

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http://naxalrevolution.blogspot.ie/#!/2012/09/mehngai-song-from-movie-chakravyuh.html

 

 

Chakravyuh song in censor trouble

 

Prakash Jha's upcoming political thriller Chakravyuh starring Arjun Rampal, Abhay Deol, Esha Gupta, Manoj Bajpayee, Kabir Bedi and Anjali Patil seems to have run into censor trouble. The reason being a song that has lyrics which go 'Tata, Birla, Ambani Aur Bata, Sab Ne Hai Desh Ko Kaata', sung by Kailash Kher and picturised on Abhay Deol.

 

Apparently, the members of the Censor Board did not pass the song because they felt it was a personal attack on the country's industrialists and intended to defame them. In fact just last week, the track was rejected by the examining committee and later the review committee once again rejected the track citing the same reason.

 

Meanwhile, on the other hand, Prakash Jha argues that though the song contains the names of the industrialists, they have been used to represent a certain mindset and not target any of them.

 

However, it was only post the makers agreed to put a disclaimer stating that the names have been used symbolically and are not meant to cause any harm or disrespect to any individual or brand, did the censors pass the song.

 

Chakravyuh releases this Dusshera on October 24.

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If you thought Collie Duffy had it bad

 

http://articles.time...ur-central-jail

 

Despite 51 acquittals, cops set to arrest alleged Naxalite again

 

 

NAGPUR: There seems to be no respite for Ganpat, alias Vishwanath Kudmethe even after winning acquittals in 51 cases related to Naxal movement slapped on him by Maharashtra police over a period of eight years. The latest acquittal came a day before from a Gadchiroli court. But he is still not a free man.

 

Despite a petition against repeated re-arrest from jail gate before the High court, the alleged Naxal's 'invisible' release following the latest acquittal has surprised many. Senior officers claimed Kudmethe's re-arrest was their 'legal responsibility' and was above human rights

 

Even before Kudmethe's release, there were police vehicles and cops in civil dresses waiting at Nagpur Central Jail on Friday to pounce upon him from the gate which is within the jail premises. "Court acquitted him but they are arresting him from the jail premises so where is the release?" asked a counsel waiting to receive Kudmethe.

 

There was high drama outside the jail after his counsels returned empty handed from the gate following a prolonged wait. The prison authorities claimed they had released him at 6.20 pm, an act nobody present at the seen seemed to have noticed. His exact whereabouts and his status still remain a mystery.

 

Kudmethe was arrested in February 2004. His wife Jayakka, released last year, too was arrested shortly after her release. Since his arrest, Kudmethe has been re-arrested twice from jail gate. Ex-commander of Aheri dalam Jayakka is co-petitioner in the case along with husband Kudmethe. The couple has claimed damages to the tune of 15.80 lakh separately for illegal detention and vexatious prosecution.

 

Kudmethe was slapped with about 30 cases after the first arrest but was acquitted in all as cops could produce no evidence. He was charged with 16 fresh cases after his re-arrest from jail gate in 2008. Once again, the judiciary did not find any evidence against him.

 

Kudmethe, who has made a claim of 8 lakh for illegal detention, was dumped in the jail with five more cases but has been acquitted in all of them again.

"This is blatant violation of constitutional rights of a citizen and mockery of judiciary," said senior counsel Surendra Gadling.

 

Kudmethe and Sadhu Talandi were acquitted by the additional sessions judge in Gadchiroli from a case of attempt to murder and rioting, among other charges, registered at Damrancha police station in 2003. As per the expectations of their lawyers Gadling and Jagdish Meshram, Talandi walked out of the prison in the afternoon but there was no sight of Kudmethe.

 

The lawyers were stunned by the jail authorities who claimed that Kudmethe was released at 6.20 pm. The information was also confirmed to TOI by jail superintendent VV Sekdar.

 

While a section of intelligence community claimed Kudmethe had sneaked away after his release, his counsels maintained he was not and he would be again delivered to security forces for more false cases.

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Good to see the enemy admitting the rising power of the Maoists in India:

 

General Ashok K. Mehta: Managing India’s Internal Security Challenges

 

 

IMG_0257-225x300.jpg

 

 

Yesterday, ICSR hosted Gen. Ashok K. Mehta, where he discussed the intricacies of India’s internal security challenges. Gen. Mehta was commissioned in the Fifth Gurkha Rifles regiment of the Indian Army in 1957. He has taught at the Indian Military Academy Dehradun and Defence Services Staff College Wellington. He attended courses at Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth (USA) and Royal College of Defence Studies (UK). He took part in 1965 and 1971 wars and served extensively in J&K and the North East and UN Peacekeeping in Congo in 1962. His last assignment before taking premature retirement was GOC IPKF (South) Sri Lanka. He is founder-member of the Defence Planning Staff in the Ministry of Defence.

 

Throughout his talk, Gen. Mehta stressed that India’s internal security challenges are far more complex than their external ones, and that the country’s pre-occupation with the threat from Pakistan has taken away focus from emerging internal threats. Although he conceded that the main security threat emanates from Pakistan backed jihadist militants from Jammu Kashmir in the North East, the General noted that thus far the government has failed in its ‘carrot and stick’ approach to Maoist rebels.

 

The Maoists, described by India’s Prime Minister as the country’s greatest internal security threat, currently control over 40,000 square kilometres along the south-east coast of the country and have a presence in 20 of India’s 28 states. A force approximately 10,000 strong, they are primarily a rural insurgency based in the forests and tribal area. Additionally, they raise roughly £150m a year and are often better armed than Indian security forces. Adhering to an ‘anti-development’ ideology, they have destroyed around 40 percent of India’s railway business and other crucial aspects of the country’s infrastructure.

 

Unlike jihadist militants, the Maoist threat is ’99 percent internal’ and receives little assistance from outside the country. Among Gen. Mehta’s primary concerns in the fight against the Maoists was that, despite their constituting a ‘fully-fledged insurgency’, there is little to no co-ordinated effort between Indian states to combat the threat, with each state essentially acting independently of the other. In order to properly address this problem, the General concluded by recommending the creation of an official body, based on the American Department of Homeland Security model, which could properly co-ordinate a response.

 

http://icsr.info/201...ity-challenges/

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Maoist Halt $2 billion Coal Power Project

 

New Delhi: Jindal Steel and Power Ltd, which is building two electricity plants in eastern India at a cost of $2 billion, halted all work following death threats from Maoist guerillas against developing an adjoining coal mine.
 
“Our people are mortally scared to go into the area,” managing director Ravi Uppal said in an interview in New Delhi, where the company controlled by billionaire lawmaker Naveen Jindal is based. “We’ve asked the government for security. We’ll not move ahead unless our safety is guaranteed.”
 
Halting the projects in Jharkhand jeopardizes Jindal Steel’s plan to increase generation capacity more than 10-fold in seven years and underscores the risk the Maoists pose to industry. The rebels are adding to challenges Prime Minister Manmohan Singh faces as he tackles the slowest pace of economic growth in a decade, the rupee’s plunge to a record and an unprecedented current-account deficit.
 
The rebels, who have waged a war against the government from dense forests, draw support from villagers who believe they have a natural right to the mineral resources lying beneath their habitat. Singh has called Maoists the greatest threat to India. In May, about 300 armed rebels killed 27 people including senior leaders of Singh’s ruling Congress.

 

 

 

http://www.systemiccapital.com/maoist-halt-2-billion-coal-power-project/

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Get jailed comrades out, legally or illegally
September 17, 2013
By jeffrey dean

All routes, legal and illegal, must be explored to get jailed Maoist leaders out, CPI(Maoist) top gun Muppalla Lakshmana Rao aka Ganapathy has written in a secret letter to his comrades.
This is critical to fill the leadership crisis in the outfit, the CPI(Maoist) general secretary has made clear in his 17-page letter.
The task of the outfit’s leaders outside jail is to help the jailed comrades come out, either by obtaining bail or by jailbreak.
As an example of the ‘illegal’ means, he has mentioned the Chaibasa jailbreak on January 17, 2011, when three senior rebel leaders of the Jharkhand unit — Motilal Soren, Raghunath Hembram and Mangru Mahato — escaped by cutting the ventilators of their cells and jail godown.
On page 11, Ganapathy writes, “A few comrades have broken jails, ridiculing the enemy’s stern vigilance and surveillance system that are becoming stricter and more rigid day by day and joined the revolutionary movement again.”
Over the past three years, the CPI(Maoist) has suffered severe loss of leadership with senior leaders Kishenji and Azad being killed in police encounters, and Kobad Ghandy, Amitabh Bagchi, Saheb Chatterjee ending up in jail.
Except three, all central committee leaders of the outfit who worked outside the guerilla zones have been arrested or killed, leading to a leadership crisis, Ganapathy admits.
The shadowy Ganapathy’s call to his cadre is likely to create a flutter. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has termed Maoist insurgency, which began in the late 1960s, the country’s “greatest internal security challenge”.
Ganapathy also asked jailed comrades to keep their “revolutionary spirit” intact.
“Jails must be turned into centres of political training and struggle… we hope that all comrades will try to carry on studies with a long term view, to improve physical fitness, to preserve health, to write and send articles in various forms to the party magazines, to do literary work, to write experiences and send to the party and to well utilise the time in several ways.”
Ganapathy’s letter has also analysed in detail the condition of the Maoist movement across the country, dissecting the reasons for the setbacks it has faced between 2010 and 2013.
The CPI(Maoist) boss is believed to be in a hideout in Dantewada, Chhattisgarh.

MORE…
http://www.hindustantimes.com/India-...1-1122870.aspx

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Naxalite Hardhan Majhi arrested, sent to jail

Chandil, Feb 25: Through a special search operation by CRPF Batalian team at Matkadih Village under Chauka Police Station, the team was successful in nabbing a naxalite Hardhan Majhi on Tuesday, Feb 25. Majhi was soon handed over to Chauka Police. On the course of sending Majhi to jail, Chauka Police Station incharge Rajdev Singh talking to the media persons said that Majhi was present in several incidents in the last couple of years. Majhi was also a member of Kundan Pahan group.

Singh further said that Majhi was a member of Jan Virodhi Aandolan Samiti and used to collect money from people. Police recovered two CDs, five magazines in which history of naxalites and white paper and several other things. At the press meet ASI RD along with other police officers were present.

http://www.avenuemail.in/region/naxalite-hardhan-majhi-arrested-sent-jail/31079/

hree Maoist cadres carrying rewards arrested in Bastar

Three Maoists, including two women, who carried rewards on their heads, were arrested from separate places in Maoist-hit Bastar region of Chhattisgarh, the police said in Raipur on Wednesday. Two Maoist cadres were nabbed from the Maraskol forest area under Dhaudai police station limits of Narayanpur district last evening, Narayanpur Additional Superintendent of Police O P Sharma said. A joint squad of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and the district police was on a combing operation in the restive Dhaudai region, which is around 350 km away from Chhattisgarh’s state capital Raipur, when it spotted Maoist rebels trying to flee, he said.

They were nabbed after a chase. During interrogation, they admitted to their involvement in the Maoist movement, he said. The duo has been identified as Sukhdeyi (48), head of the Kongera Maoist Janatana Sarkar and a wanted woman cadre who carried a reward of Rs 5,000 on her head, and Dasu Ram Salaam (24), a member of the Daula Local Operation Squad, he said. In a separate incident, a wanted Maoist was arrested from his residence in Maalnar village under the Mardapal police station limits of Kondagaon district late last evening, a senior police official said.

A joint patrol of the CRPF and the district police force was on an area domination operation in the forests of Mardapal when it received a tip-off about the presence of a Maoist cadre in the Maalnar village. The arrested Maoist has been identified as Mate Bai, a member of the Chema Jan Militia who carried a reward of Rs 5,000 on her head, the official said. All three arrested Maoists were allegedly involved in several cases including loot, arson and murder, he said.

http://ibnlive.in.com/news/three-maoist-cadres-carrying-rewards-arrested-in-bastar/454514-3-235.html

Anti-Naxal ops: BSF to get two new choppers

New Delhi: The BSF air wing will get two new advanced military helicopters by this year-end for aiding security forces in anti-Naxal operations. The new choppers, Mi-17 (V-5 variants), are part of the first batch of the machines which will be delivered to the Border Security Force under the eight-helicopter deal that the force is expected to get as part of modernisation of its air fleet. “We are hopeful of getting two helicopters by this year-end, preferably in September.

This is part of the eight- chopper package that our air wing is supposed to get,” BSF chief Subhash Joshi told PTI. The new choppers will add to the existing fleet of eleven helicopters which are currently tasked to carry troops, material and casualty evacuation in Naxal violence affected states. Both Indian Air Force and BSF choppers are part of this existing fleet. Joshi said the new choppers are expected to be deployed first in the Left Wing Extremism (LWE) theatre.

These helicopters are advanced versions of the existing fleet of Mi-17s and will be equipped with sophisticated avionics and on-board navigation systems making them more suitable for both day and night operations in Naxal-affected areas. The Mi-17 V-5 helicopters have an on-board weather radar along with the state-of-the art autopilot and latest night vision devices which are at present not available with the Mi-17s. The BSF, country’s largest border guarding force, is the nodal authority for operating the air wing under the Home Ministry and its ALH ‘Dhruv’ and Mi-17 choppers are used by all the seven paramilitary forces of the country like CRPF, ITBP, SSB, CISF, Assam Rifles for various tasks and by the elite counter-terror force NSG for training of commandos and VIP travel.

http://zeenews.india.com/news/delhi/anti-naxal-ops-bsf-to-get-two-new-choppers_914233.html

Maoist killed in Gumla gunfight

GUMLA: A Maoist was gunned down in a police encounter at Icha village under Ghaghra police station, 40 km off the district town, early on Tuesday. The security forces recovered an SLR and other items from the encounter site during a search operation. The slain rebel has not yet been identified as yet, police said. According to police, they had specific information about the presence of some 25-30 Maoists led by their commanders Sushil Gounjhu and Ranjeet in Icha village on Monday night.

A big contingent of security forces led by ASP Pawan Kumar, SDPO D K Pande and CRPF deputy commandant, AK Singh was dispatched for the onslaught of the Maoists. As soon as they reached the village, the rebels started firing gunshots at them. Police too retaliated with fire at about 1.30 am, said Gumla SP Rakesh Bansal after visiting the spot. In the encounter which continued for about two hours, a Maoist was killed and a SLR, a rucksack shawl, shoes etc were recovered, he said. They had possibly gone to Icha village to take on members of a rival group called Jharkhand Jan Mukti Parishad (JJMP) led by its supremo Manjeet, a source revealed.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/ranchi/Maoist-killed-in-Gumla-gunfight/articleshow/31037762.cms

Naxalites slay Balapam sarpanch near Hyderabad

CHINTAPALLI (Visakhapatnam): Striking terror in the hearts of locals as well as police personnel ahead of the elections, Maoists killed the recently elected sarpanch of Balapam panchayat, a Red stronghold, in Chintapalli in the wee hours of Tuesday for contesting the elections against their order. The 38-year-old sarpanch, Sinderi Karla, was hacked to death by a group of Naxals after being dragged out of his house at Rallagedda of Balapam panchayat. Karla is survived by his wife and two children.

According to sources, around 50 Naxals and militia members led by Maoist leaders Kiran and Azad entered the village around 2.30 am on Tuesday, tied up Karla’s hands and dragged him out of his house. The Naxals told the sarpanch’s wife that they wanted to discuss some issues with him and also hold a meeting in the village. They took him to a martyrs’ pylon on the outskirts of the village. Interestingly, Karla was one of the persons instrumental in constructing the martyrs’ pylon, sources said Raju told media persons that he soon heard his brother’s cries for help and after a few minutes the villagers found Karla lying lifeless in a pool of blood with a deep wound on his neck.

The Reds left a note on Karla’s body warning Prem Singh, Sobhan, Soma Raju, Nooka Raju and Sanjeeva Rao that they would meet the same fate if they did not leave the village along with their families. Alleging that Karla was a police informer, the note also accused him of colluding with the Annavaram and Chintapalli police and playing a key role in illegal arrests and surrenders as well as in harassing people agitating for their rights on coffee plantations and at bauxite mines. They also accused him of playing a key role in laying roads along with the Essar pipeline. The note, left in the name of the Korukonda committee, also alleged that Karla had contested the local body elections though nobody was willing to contest or vote.

The Naxals said they had warned Karla through letters, leaflets and the Praja court, but he did not heed their warnings. Karla was unanimously elected sarpanch of Balapam panchayat last month and reportedly joined the YSR Congress Party (YSRCP). The Balapam panchayat election was postponed in August last year when no one was willing to contest in the wake of Maoist threats. According to sources, Karla, who was a strong Maoist sympathiser, was among the 75 Maoist militia members and sympathizers that surrendered before the police in 2012. After the surrenders, the police got access to the village that was once considered to be a Maoist stronghold in the Korukonda tracts.

Visakha Rural SP Vikram Jeet Duggal told TOI that the police had warned Karla three days ago that he was on the Maoist hit list. “We had warned him to leave the village for a safer place for a few days, but he was confident that the Naxals would not do anything to him if he was in the village,” Duggal said, adding that the Naxals were ironically targeting innocent tribals that they were claiming to be fighting for.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/hyderabad/Naxalites-slay-Balapam-sarpanch-near-Hyderabad/articleshow/31008961.cms

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Manipur ,RPF chief unmasks ‘hidden agenda’ behind peace-talksImphal, : Irengbam Chaoren, the supremo ofthe proscribed Revolutionary People’s Front (RPF) has categorically asserted that ‘peace-talks and ceasefire’ which are often termed as ‘dialogue’ between armed groups and the Indian Government have been used as an instrument to shield their hidden agenda to confuse the ‘oppressed masses’ in the name of peace and prosperity in the North East region.In his message to the people on theeve of 35th raising day of RPF (Independence Demand Day), Chaoren said, “Our history testifies Manipur was a self-reliant independent political entity which has today been enslaved by India’s colonialism.As the contradiction becomes more and more eminent, the fight against colonialism is a historical necessity for the Manipuris and has reached a ripening level today. The onus that lies with the people of Manipur is to be consolidated and enhanced further as the global opinion is wrapped in deliberate denial diplomacy towards India’s colonial ambitions in our region”. Chaoren went on to say that “the time is ripe to bring home a conclusive understanding that the tall claims of ushering in peace in the State of Manipur would nowhere result in securing the people’s complete freedom and independence…

 

Lal Salam

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Women Martyrs of The Indian Revolution-Keskal Martyrs

 

Martyrdom : 10-03-2009

On March 10, 2009 an informer tipped off the police about the whereabouts of comrades Kamala and Parvati and they caught them. These unarmed women comrades were tortured and raped but they could not extract even one word from them. The cruel police cut off their hands and legs and finally killed them.

Comrade Punem Chanki (Kamala)

Chanki (30) was born in Eeral village of Gangalur area, West Bastar (Bijapur district). As she was born in a revolutionary movement area she was associated with the politics from childhood. Sangam activities started since 1987 in that village. Jan Jagran started in 1990. Some anti-social elements of Gangalur and Cherpal villages participated actively in it. Kamala participated actively in the attacks on them. Again in 1997, in the Bhairamgadh and Mirtul areas, Jan Jagran started under Mahendra Karma, the Congress leader. They attacked many villages. Under his leadership, goons attacked Mirtul, Timmam, Japrur, Dumri and Paralnar villages.

They beat the Sangam leaders and raped the Sangam women. They forcefully made them eat turmeric rice and take oath that they would not continue in the sangam. In retaliation to this terror, four thousand people attacked the leaders of Jan Jagran in Mirtul in July 1997. As the member of Gangalur KAMS range committe, Kamala led the women in this attack. She was in the forefront in punishing them. The Gangalur KAMS first conference was held in April 1997. In May 1997, 30 years of Naxalbari celebrations were held in Kolkata. DAKMS and KAMS activists attended the meeting in Kolkata. Kamala also attended this along with Karuna who was martyred in Daula raid.

With increased revolutionary consciousness, she opposed forced marriages. She worked in the village KAMS and organized women against age old traditions and patriarchy. She led the KAMS in fighting against regressive patriarchal ideas like ‘women should not sit on stools or comb their hairs in front of elders’. She not only organized militia but also gave it training. Gradually she developed to become KAMS range committee leader. She became a PR and joined the Bhairamgadh LOS in April 1998 and worked for some time in Madded too. She became the deputy of a SGS in South Bastar in 1999. Within a few days she was shifted to PL-6 in 2001. She worked with discipline and fulfilled all her responsibilities activity.

She took up responsibilities and jobs which were beyond age or experience. She fulfilled them with sincerity and tirelessly. Party had the confidence that if Kamala is given any task, it would be fulfilled well. She behaved responsibly with people. She was in the forefront in teaching them cleanliness, fulfilling their medical needs and in participating in production. She learnt to read and write in the party along with military skills. She participated in the Cherpal ambush and Takilod opportunity raid and ambushes and enthued the people of that area. She was shifted to North Bastar division in 2004. She took up the responsibility of LOS commander of Keskal. In 2007 September East Bastar was formed and Keskal area became part of it. She worked for KAMS as Keskal ACM. When she was in the village, an informer tipped off the police and they caught her along with another Com.Parvati on March 10, 2009. These unarmed women comrades were tortured and raped but they could not extract even one word from them. The cruel police cut off their hands and legs and killed them. The radio conveyed the concocted ‘encounter’ story as usual.

Comrade Telam Parvathi

The central and state governments had unleashed the fascist Salwa Judum to crush the revolutionary movement in DK from June 2005. It started in the village Kutru of Bhairamgad area in West Bastar. They attacked the people of Konapal in June 2005 but the people heroically resisted and chased the goons away. In that same period under the leadership of Salwa Judum goons Mahesh Gagda and Vikram Mandavi, Salwa Judum goons had attacked the villages Pollevaya, Pondum, Patrapara and Keshkutul with the support of Naga police. Many houses were burnt down, women were raped and innocent people were just gunned down in cold blood. It was white terror everywhere.

During this severe repression, the people of Pollevaya stood firmly with the revolutionary movement and fought back the Judum goons. DAKMS, KAMS, CNM and militia stood in the forefront inspiring the people. They told them not to surrender or join the rahath sibirs. It was due to the support provided by them that people could withstand this fascist attack. In this severe repression period, Com. Parvathi stood in the forefront as the Secretary of KAMS committee in the village. Parvathi was born in Pollevaya 21 years ago in Telami family. From her childhood she worked in Bal Sangam.

Then she worked in the KAMS and participated in many economic and political struggles. She worked for the increase in wages of tendu leaf labourers and against oppression, corruption of sarpanches and secretaries and against patriarchy on women. After Judum, the village life was torn apart; she rose to the occassion and inspired the youth to join PLGA. When she was working in the KAMS range committee, the Judum people had already conducted two meetings in her village and threatened the people not to support the party. Again Mahendra Karma was about to speak at a meeting. When she came to know that he was coming along with SPOs and goons, she and the other mass leaders told the people not to attend the meeting. So, many of them did not attend it. On that day Karma announced in the meeting that he would keep Parvathi as his keep. Actually he is paternal uncle of Parvathi as per relation. That means she is like a daughter to him by relation. Such is the callouness of Karma!

One day while she was bathing in a stream, police began surrounding her to catch her. Since she was a range committee member of KAMS and was working against Judum, her name became famous. She left all her clothes and everything there and began running away from them. They chased her and even fired at her. Two batches of them were chasing her. Finally she escaped. On that day too, they held a meeting and threatened her family members that they would kill them if she did not surrender. She wanted to end all this and dreamt of a society where poor adivasis like her could live peacefully. So she joined the Bhairamgadh squad in 2005 September. Later she participated in the raid on the Gangulur rahath sibir. On February 10, 2006, she participated in the raid on Bailadilla Hiroli ammunition depot.

After she joined the party, her family members were recruited into the SPOs. Such is the divide which the Judum is bringing in the families. They established a camp just five minutes away from her village and their atrocities increased even more. These are the circumstances which are moulding young women like Parvati into stauch revolutionaries. In March 2006, she was transferred to East Bastar. There she participated actively in all the military actions as a member of PL-17. She participated in the firing on police in Ara and Mulle villages. She was transferred to women work in 2007. From then on till her martyrdom, she worked hard to build up KAMS units in Barda area. While working there, she was caught along with Com. Kamala by the police and killed after severe tortures by them on 10-03-2009.

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