India: Why Maoists targeted Congress Leaders

[See two articles from India’s bourgeois media, below. —  Frontlines ed.]

Chhattisgarh attack revenge for Salwa Judum, Green Hunt: Maoists

Chhattisgarh attack revenge for Salwa Judum, Green Hunt: Maoists
“Peoples’ Liberation Guerrilla Army (PLGA) cadres main aim was eliminate Mahendra Karma and few other Congress leaders,” the Maoist said in a statement e-mailed to select mediapersons.
RAIPUR: Outlawed Communist Party of India (Maoist) on Tuesday strongly defended killing of senior tribal leader Mahendra Karma and Chhattisgarh Pradesh Congress Committee (CGPCC) president Nand Kumar Patel for their role in SalwaJudum and operation Green Hunt but expressed regrets over the death of other “innocent” Congressmen.”Peoples’ Liberation Guerrilla Army (PLGA) cadres main aim was eliminate Mahendra Karma and few other Congress leaders,” the Maoist said in a statement e-mailed to select mediapersons.

Dandakaranya special zonal committee spokesman Gudsa Usendi claimed that the attack was to avenge “Salwa Judum” – the controversial anti-Maoist movement of June 2005 that led to large scale violence and displacement of thousands of villagers in Bastar.

“Both the BJP and the Congress are equally responsible for repression in tribal areas,” the Maoist spokesman said adding that Salwa Judum had become a curse for the people of Bastar.

“The mayhem in Bastar, precipitated by Salwa Judum, is incomparable to any gory incident in history,” the statement said. Karma and his family had turned exploiters of tribals, it said. “Congress president Patel, during his tenure as home minister between 2000 to 2003 (sic) had initiated for the deployment of more para-military forces in the tribal region,” it added.

Referring to the attack on veteran Congress leader and former union minister V C Shukla, the Maoist spokesman described Shukla as an enemy of the masses as he had always played an active role in politics as a representative of imperialist forces, capitalists, and landlords.

Expressing regret over the killing of some ‘innocent’ Congress functionaries, the Maoists blamed chief minister Raman Singh, the Congress leadership, including Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, and others, for keeping quiet when innocent people were killed in “state sponsored violence”.

Maoists also demanded withdrawal of paramilitary forces from Dandakaranya, an area which they claim as their liberated zone. They also demanded calling off Operation Green Hunt in Bastar and release all imprisoned Maoists.

Last year, Maoists had abducted the then Sukma district collector Alex Paul Menon and had placed similar demands in exchange of his safe release. After hectic negotiations between state government and Maoist interlocutors, the state government had set up a three member committee to review the cases of all those who are languishing in jails and secured the release of the abducted collector. However, committee had several meetings so far but without any concrete outcome.

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Chhattisgarh attack: In 4-page note, Maoists state why they targeted Congress leaders

Chhattisgarh attack: In 4-page note, Maoists state why they targeted Congress leaders

Raipur: Three days after the gruesome massacre of 24 people in a Congress convoy, Maoists in Chhattisgarh have sent a four-page note and an audio clipping to the media, claiming responsibility for the attack. The note in Telugu says Congress leaders Mahendra Karma, Nand Kumar Patel and V C Shukla, were their main targets and regrets that some “innocents” too were killed.
Mr Karma and Mr Patel died in the ambush on Saturday evening. The 84-year-old Mr Shukla is in a critical condition in a Gurgaon hospital, with three bullet injuries in his abdomen.

The note, sent by a Maoist spokesperson from the Dandakaranya region in Chhattisgarh, says that a People’s Liberation Guerrilla Army or PLGA detachment carried out the attack on the convoy of 25 cars carrying the Congress leaders.

Mr Patel, who was the chief of the Chhattisgarh Congress, was targeted because he approved Operation Green Hunt when he was the state’s Home Minister, which allowed central forces to be a part of anti-Naxal operations, the note says.

Mahendra Karma, it says, was “punished” for what the Naxals called his “misdeeds”. Mr Karma, also a former Home Minister, had in 2005 launched the Salwa Judum, an anti-Naxal movement that won him much praise from even the BJP’s Raman Singh, who is the Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh.

In their note the Maoists have blamed Mr Singh’s dispensation equally for what they call “anti-people policies”.  The note in fact criticizes Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Congress president Sonia Gandhi and BJP chief Rajnath Singh too for calling Saturday’s incident an attack on democracy.

They also have demands. Seven of them, mostly old demands. The Naxals want Operation Green Hunt to end and paramilitary forces to be sent back from Dandakaranya. They want laws like the  Chhattisgarh Special Public Security Act 2005 (CSPSA) and the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act 1967 to be scrapped. They also want an unspecified number of their men and people they call “innocent tribals” to be released from jail unconditionally.

The note also demands that deals with corporates “that loot natural resources” be cancelled.

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