Police posts to secure ore-rich Surjagarh hills

[The revolutionary people and their Maoist party are a major barrier to the capitalist development of India's resources. The removal of the people by military means is a major focus of the Indian government.  --  Frontlines ed.]

This is in line with the Modi government’s stress on reducing dependence on imports and boosting domestic production.

 

A highly placed source stated that Surjagarh hills in Etapalli tehsil have police posts on their three sides, except northern side. An armed police post (AOP) at Hedri, on the south-eastern side of Surjagarh, is coming up fast on Gatta-Etapalli road. This would be the closest from Surjagarh being only around three kilometers away from the mining zone.

Continue reading

India: Maoist Statement on the Elimination of death-squad “Salwa Judum” and anti-people “Op. Green Hunt” Leaders

COMMUNIST PARTY OF INDIA (MAOIST)

DANDAKARANYA SPECIAL ZONAL COMMITTEE  

May 26, 2013

Elimination of fascist Salwa Judum leader Mahendra Karma: Legitimate response to the inhuman atrocities, brutal murders and endless terror perpetrated on the Adivasis of Bastar!

Attack on top Congress leaders:Inevitable reprisal to the fascist Operation Green Hunt being carried on by the UPA government hand in glove with various state governments!

 On May 25, 2013, a detachment of the People’s Liberation Guerilla Army conducted a massive attack on the 20 plus vehicles convoy of Congress party which resulted in wiping out of at least 27 Congress leaders, activists and policemen including Mahendra Karma, the bitter enemy of the oppressed people of Bastar and Nand Kumar Patel, president of the Congress’ state unit. It took place when the Congress party leaders were touring in Bastar region as part of their ‘Parivartan Yatra’ program (i.e. March of Change) keeping their eye on forthcoming assembly elections. At least 30 others also were injured in this attack including ex-central minister and veteran Congress leader Vidya Charan Shukla. The dog’s death of Mahendra Karma, notorious tyrant, murderer, rapist, robber and maligned as corrupt, in this historic attack has created a festive atmosphere in entire Bastar region. Former state home minister Nand Kumar Patel was also had the history of suppressing the people. It was in his tenure, paramilitary force (CRPF) was deployed in Bastar region for the first time. It was also not hidden from anyone that the former central minister VC Shukla who had been in various portfolios including Home ministry, was also a people’s enemy who had acted as a loyal servant of imperialists, comprador bureaucratic bourgeoisie and landlords and had played a key role in formulating and implementing exploitative government policies. The goal of this attack was mainly to eliminate Mahendra Karma and some other reactionary Congress top leaders as well. However, during this massive attack some innocent people and some lower level Congress party activists who were in fact not our enemies, were also killed and injured caught in the two-hour long gun battle that ensued between our guerrilla forces and the armed police forces. Dandakaranya Special Zonal Committee of Communist Party of India (Maoist) regrets for this and expresses condolence and sympathy to the families of the bereaved. Continue reading

India–”Peals of Spring Thunder”: Oppressive System cannot control the struggle against oppression

The Naxalite Attacks at Sukma
by BINOY KAMPMARK, writing in CounterPunch

naxal_attackThey have been considered one of India’s most pressing threats, and the recent attack by the Naxalites that ambushed a convoy of the Congress Party went that much further.  The ambush took place over the weekend in Sukma on the Maharashtra, Andra Pradesh and Chhattisgarh border. Reports suggest that there were as many as 200 Maoist rebels who inflicted heavy losses – 28 killed and 24 others wounded – before fleeing.

The attacks have shaken the establishment.  Among the dead were four state party leaders including Mahendra Karma of Chhattisgarh, and five police officers.  For BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar, “This new aggressive strategy of the Naxalities is a real threat to the Constitution and the rule of law. It is a challenge to sovereignty” (Times of India, May 26).  Former police chief of Punjab state KPS Gill is pessimistic about the new surge – the government of the day did not “have the political will and bureaucratic and police set-up to prevent such attacks” (Dhaka Tribune, May 26).

How the Naxalites have been treated has varied.  In 1967, when the movement first made its presence felt in the West Bengal village of Naxalbari, the Home Minister Y. B. Chavan treated the matter as a case of “lawlessness” in action.  The mistake was classic but fatal.  During the 1970s, the state authorities moved in on the movement hoping to crush it with repressive enthusiasm.  As usual with such measures, the quotient of extra-judicial killings and corrupt practices accompanied the operations.  Legislation was passed to enable various state authorities to take measures – the attempt, for example, by the N.T. Rama Rao government to free up arms licensing in Andra Pradesh in 1983 for individuals to protect themselves against the Naxals. Continue reading

“The mighty Chhattisgarh falters, once again”

Monday, May 27, 2013 | Place: New Delhi | Agency: DNA

Securitymen inspect the site of ambush on Sunday. 27 people were killed and over 30 injured in the attack.One lakh (100,000) men of state police, 40,000 paramilitary fighters and 11 IAF copters fail to make a difference on ground.

[Photo:  Securitymen inspect the site of ambush on Sunday. 27 people were killed and over 30 injured in the attack. - PTI]

 

 

 

The biggest Maoist strike in Chhattisgarh in terms of political impact that killed 27 people, including four state Congress leaders, has once again proved that little has changed on the ground in the tribal heartland and the CPI (Maoist) remains well entrenched there, capable of calling shots almost at will.

The undetected movement of a well equipped force of over 250 Maoists that engaged for nearly two hour gun battle in broad daylight on a state highway has thrown up several questions for both Centre and Raman Singh-led state government to answer for.

The first and the foremost question that intrigues is how over a lakh strong state police machinery that has support of almost 40,000 central armed police personnel on ground and air support of drones and 11 IAF and BSF helicopters failed to track and fight such a large movement of Maoists.

While the security officials blamed vastness of the area, its rocky and jungle terrain and ill-equipped and low morale state police as reasons for unable to overpower the Maoists, activists like GN Saibaba, vice-president of Revolutionary Democratic Front of India claimed the reason for Maoist domination lies in having a popular support base among the tribals.

“The tribals have been at the receiving end at the hands of the state machinery. They have been harassed and killed by repressive governments for last 60-70 years and find a natural ally among Maoists. Till you do not have a pro-people government such situations will keep arising,” said Saibaba.

Rural development minister Jairam Ramesh indicated slackness on part of the Chhattisgarh government for not being able to change the ground situation. “If you go by statistics I don’t think we have been able to see any change in districts like Kanker, Narayanpur, Bijapur, Sukma and Dantewada in last 9 years like we have been able to see in several Maoist affected districts across Bihar, Odisha, Jharkhand, Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal…. The target of the attack was to send a message that this is a liberated zone, political parties keep off,” said Ramesh. Continue reading

India: Government officials ordered to learn local tribal languages

[The inability of government officials to communicate with millions of adivasi (tribal) people has long been a feature of the non-existent relations over the great divide in India.  The communication gap is rooted in the officials' lack of language skills, and in their political disdain for the poor.  But growing attention to the powerless majority and their waves of rebellion and revolutionary struggle, has embarassed the government of the self-proclaimed "largest democracy" to announce new plans for communication with their oppressed peoples.  What they fail to mention is that Maoists, over several decades, developed the written form of the Gond language and others, thereby enabling literacy campaigns, educational programs, and publications which have become accessible to the people.  Now, some government officials, if they follow their directives, will be reading Gondi books published by Maoists, or using Maoist literation systems.  It remains to be seen if these officials will make somewhat friendly conversation, or will be only measure these verbal encounters in counter-insurgency terms -- by how clearly government and military orders are barked at and understood by the victims of Operation Green Hunt and other attacks on tribal people.  -- Frontlines ed.]

——————————————————————

Speak the same tongue

Suvojit Bagchi, The Hindu, April 25, 2013

Grassroots communication: Imperative for better problem solving. Photo: Arunangsu Roy Chowdhury
[The Hindu Grassroots communication: Imperative for better problem solving. Photo: Arunangsu Roy Chowdhury]

Now it is mandatory for IAS and IPS officials posted in Chhattisgarh to learn at least one local tribal language

The Communist Party of India (Maoist) had made local tribal language learning mandatory for its cadres in Chhattisgarh (erstwhile Madhya Pradesh) soon after they arrived from neighbouring Andhra Pradesh in the early Eighties. Hence, in the next decade, all its Bengali, Telugu or Marathi speaking cadres picked up at least two main languages of the Gond tribals in Dandakaranya — Halbi and Gondi.

Thirty years after the CPI (Maoist)’s dictum to learn tribal languages, the government has decided to coach its administrative officers in tribal languages of Chhattisgarh. IAS probationers now will have to learn at least one of the local languages to “communicate more effectively at the grassroots,” Sunil Kumar, Chief Secretary of Chhattisgarh, told The Hindu.

Cultural sensitivity is mandatory to counter the guerrillas militarily or to introduce various welfare programmes in the rebel strongholds, especially if the State officials are ethnically alien to the local people. The fact is, the tribal languages of Chhattisgarh are alien to most of the IAS or IPS officers who would carry the State-sponsored schemes. In this context, the State government has decided to impart training in oral communication skills in all dialects of Chhattisgarh.

According to Mr. Kumar, the State Academy of Administration has already been advised to “strengthen necessary language laboratories with facility to impart” language training. However, it would be limited to oral communication. Continue reading

Indian state attacking villages, homes, schools and organizing centers in Chhattisgarh

[Note:  The "Janatana Sarkars" are collective forms of political and economic organization of the adivasis (India's indigenous peoples) who have organized themselves under the leadership of the Maoists. -- Frontlines ed.]

———————————————

Preliminary Report on the Fact Finding In Bijapur District, Chhattisgarh

Democratic Students’ Union, University of Delhi
(Released in a Press Conference at Women’s Press Corps on 15 March 2013)

In the three weeks from mid-January till the first week of February, several villages in the Bijapur District of Chhattisgarh experienced the terror of the armed forces of the Indian state. The CRPF, Chhattisgarh state police, erstwhile SPO’s of the Salwa Judum along with various coercive arms of the state orchestrated a systematic targeting of villages, burnt down hundreds of homes, ostensibly in random, further, burnt down the schools built by the people, picked up villagers, young and old, and physically tortured them while their homes burned to the ground. The affected villages are Pidia, Tomnaka, Singham, Lingham, Komati, Tomudum, and Kondapadu, and in each of these between eight and thirty homes were burnt down by the armed forces. In the village of Dodi-Tumnar, a school with hostel facility for about a hundred children, both girls and boys, run by the Janatana Sarkar was looted and then burnt down by the invading forces in the last week of January. Two battalions of about 1000 CRPF personnel each, besides Koya commandos and SPO’s arrived at the village school at 9 am on that day. They systematically proceeded to destroy the school after firing into the air twice. Even as the students and the schoolmaster fled into the forest, the armed forces caught an old man on his way to the field and chopped off his hand with his own sickle. Following this, the forces looted the storeroom and the kitchen of the school, poisoned the water well, and destroyed the roof, walls, and furniture of the school before finally burning it to the ground. They then marched to the nearby village of Pidia. This village, that houses approximately 265 homes, witnessed first hand the ruthlessness with which the armed force burn down the homes and livelihood of those who stand up for their right to life and liberty. Close to thirty homes were burnt down in one part of this village alone. The charred remains of the homes, cattle sheds, storerooms, utensils can be seen littered with empty bottles of beer and other brands of alcohol. It is clear that this planned attack is part of the routine of military life that participates in wanton destruction and celebrates the impunity they enjoy.

The burial of slain villagers

The burial of slain villagers

By burning schools and homes, looting sources of livelihood, and physically torturing hundreds of adivasis, the state attempted to legitimize the violence in the name of ‘development’. This methodical burning of homes and schools reveals the carnival of violence practiced by the forces to intimidate, brutalize and squash the spirit of those living in these parts without any concern for consequences. The villagers were forced to remain in the forest for three days as the force camped in the village as well as the hills surrounding the village. A few young men were picked up by the armed force and brutally beaten. Most of the men were released while one still remains in jail. They looted the means of livelihood and sustenance in the village. Before leaving, they burnt the leftover rations and supplies of the villagers that they had looted. Traces of the violence faced by the village can be seen in the charred remains of homes, shelters, and broken utensils and fences. Here, it is the Janatana Sarkar to whom the villagers turn to in times like these. The Janatana Sarkar provided medicines and food to the affected villagers. It is now also helping them rebuild the burnt homes. Even as the bare frames of the homes are being rebuilt pillar by pillar and brick by brick, the spirit of resistance is visible for all to see. Continue reading

India, the ever-present threat of rape, and the right of self-defense — part 1

Indian women demanding guns for defense against rapists

Indian bus rape: Delhi sees rush for guns

Hundreds of women inquire about gun licences following woman’s murder, showing the lack of faith in law enforcement

in Delhi

guardian.co.uk, Tuesday 1 January 2013

[An Indian man takes part in a candle-lit vigil to mourn the death of the gang-rape victim in Delhi. Photograph: Dar Yasin/AP]

Hundreds of women in Delhi have applied for gun licences following the gang rape and murder of a 23-year-old woman by six men in a bus in the city last month.

The news underlines the widespread sense of insecurity in the city, deep before the incident and deeper now, and the lack of faith in law enforcement agencies.

The ashes of the victim of the attack – who died on Friday after 13 days in hospitals in India and Singapore, and was cremated in Delhi in a secret ceremony under heavy security on Sunday – were scattered on the surface of the Ganges river, sacred to Hindus, in northern India on Tuesday.

The case has provoked an unprecedented debate about endemic sexual harassment and violence in India. Tens of thousands have protested across the country, calling for harsher laws, better policing and a change in culture.

Politicians, initially caught off-guard, have now promised new legislation to bring in fast-track courts and harsher punishments for sexual assault. The six men accused of the attack are to be formally charged with murder later this week and potentially face execution.

Indian media are currently reporting incidents of sexual violence that would rarely gain attention previously. In the last 24 hours these have included a teenager fleeing repeated abuse by her brother, who was allegedly assaulted on a bus by a conductor, a 15-year-old held for 15 days by three men in a village in Uttar Pradesh and repeatedly assaulted, an 11-year-old allegedly raped by three teenagers in the north-eastern city of Guwahati and two cases of rape in the city of Amritsar.

One case reported on Tuesday involved a woman, also in a village in Uttar Pradesh, who suffered 90% burns after being doused in kerosene, allegedly by a man who had been stalking her for months.

There were signs that a further taboo was about to be broken when one of India’s best-known English-language television presenters asked viewers who had experienced abuse from a family member to contact her.

The rush for firearms will cause concern, however. Police in Delhi have received 274 requests for licences and 1,200 inquiries from women since 18 December, two days after the woman and a male friend were attacked in a bus cruising on busy roads between 9pm and 10pm.

“Lots of women have been contacting us asking for information about how to obtain licences. Any woman has a threat against her. It’s not surprising. There are fearless predators out there,” said Abhijeet Singh of the campaign group Guns For India. Continue reading