Indian Maoists expose and denounce the latest “peace” trap


Press Release (June 24, 2011)

The offer for peace talks by the President of India is nothing but a ploy to divert the people from the reality of OGH Phase -2!

On June 24, the President Pratibha Patil who came on a visit to Chhattisgarh capital Raipur proposed that Maoists should shun violence
and come forward for talks and that they should join the mainstream and work for the development of Adivasis. This proposal came exactly at a time when thousand Indian Army soldiers had entered Bastar to participate in the Operation Green Hunt (OGH) against the poorest people of India. In the backdrop of the signing of MoUs worth billions of rupees worth to loot the natural resources of our mineral-rich country after many rounds of talks, the President is talking about `peace talks’. She is proposing these `talks’ when already 750 sq kms of forest land where dozens of villages and thousands of Mariya Adivasi community reside have been handed over to the Army without any `talks’ whatsoever.

Pratibha Patil, incidentally the first woman President of India, is advising us to shun violence even before the wounds of women of
Tadimetla, Morpalli, Pulanpadu and Timmapur villages at the southern tip of Chhattisgarh have healed after the brutal atrocities and violence of the government forces perpetrated on them. She is advising us to abjure violence when state violence is a daily occurrence in Dandakaranya, Bihar-Jharkhand, Odisha, Maharashtra and many other areas, particularly the Maoist movement areas or Adivasi areas. In fact, state violence expresses itself in many forms. It is carried on in various methods at various times. For example, today it hiked the price of kerosene by two rupees, diesel by three rupees and cooking gas by 50 rupees. This is one form of violence which makes the lives of people even more unbearable. Continue reading

Fact sheet on Operation Green Hunt–India’s massive military assault on the adivasis (tribal peoples)


Some of 200,000 paramilitary forces mobilized by the Indian government to attack the adivasis

Fact Sheet on Operation Green Hunt

By Campaign against War on People

The following document is a compilation of information gathered through news reports in the mainstream media, government reports, and reports of independent fact-finding teams. It aims to offer as objective and non-partisan a view of the situation in the affected states, as is possible.

The Status of the Current Offensive

  • The offensive will be spread over the next five years.
  • A special forces school, a special forces unit and an army brigade HQ will be set up near Bilaspur. The brigade HQ will participate in anti-Maoist ops in the future. The army is looking for 1,800 acres of land to set up the infrastructure.
  • The IAF is looking for 300 acres for its base
  • Home Ministry is sitting on a plan to redeploy the Rashtriya Rifles [from Kashmir to the Naxal affected areas]. RR and BSF unlike other paramilitary forces, have heavy weaponry like medium-range machine guns, mortars and rocket launchers.
  • For now, 27 battalions of the Border Security Force and the Indo-Tibetan Border Police will be moved into Chhattisgarh, Orissa and Maharashtra.
  • The paramilitary forces will be supported by six Mi-17 IAF choppers.
  • The helicopters will have on board the IAF’s special force, the GARUDS, to secure the chopper and conduct combat search and rescue operations.
  • The offensive will be in seven phases. Each phase has been marked area-wise as Operating Areas (OAsOA-1) involves moving along a north-south axis from Kanker, Chhattisgarh, and on an east-west axis from Gadchiroli in Maharashtra and span the Abuj Marh forests used by the Maoists as a training centre and logistics base. (All points above from Outlook, 26 Oct 2009) Continue reading

India: Widow and Delhi rights group condemn police efforts to justify murder of journalist Hem Pandey

Hem Pandey after his execution at point blank range by Andhra Pradesh police

Press Statement, 14 Nov 20109

The Andhra Police is doing all sorts of malicious propaganda to desperately hide the fact that they had killed my husband Hem Chandra Pandey in a fake encounter.  Instead of doing a judicial probe in the matter they are regularly trying to harass me in various ways.  The police without taking my permission raided our house in Shatri Nagar and now they are showing ‘the seizure of objectionable things’ from the house. The claim by Andhra Police that I had not disclosed the address of my house is completely bogus. Both my address as well as my phone number was with the police, yet they did not consider it necessary to inform me before barging into my house.

I used to stay in A-96 Shastri Nagar with my husband Hem Chandra Pandey.  He was a progressive journalist. He was deeply interested in literature and politics. He had in his collections many books ranging from that by Maxim Gorky to the progressive poet of Uttarakhand, Girda.

I want to categorically ask, is studying Marxism any kind of crime?  I have no knowledge of the so-called objectionable documents that the police are claiming to have seized from my house.  My husband owned a desktop computer but never had a laptop.  He did not own any thing like a fax machine as well. The claim that there were ‘secret documents’ in my house is completely baseless. I strongly feel the police are making these stories up in order to divert the demand for a judicial probe in Hem’s killing. I would like to ask why the government is constantly avoiding the judicial enquiry. Continue reading

Arundhati Roy on Obama’s wars, poverty and India’s Maoist rebels

November 8, 2010

Amy Goodman of “Democracy Now” interviews Arundhati Roy, award-winning Indian writer and renowned global justice activist. Her latest book is Field Notes on Democracy: Listening to Grasshoppers.

AMY GOODMAN: We move now to Arundhati Roy. Maoist rebels in India called for a strike Monday to protest President Obama’s visit. The Indian media reports, according to the police, Maoists blew up a new school building this morning and killed four people in the eastern Indian states or Orissa and Bihar.

Last month, I had the chance to sit down with author Arundhati Roy in London about the Maoists in India. But first I began by asking her for her assessment of President Obama.

ARUNDHATI ROY: Well, I think the big lesson today is look at the richest country in the world, America, having attacked and made war on the poorest countries but not being able to win those wars.  They have not been able to win. And here’s the lesson. You couldn’t win Vietnam, you couldn’t win Afghanistan, couldn’t win Iraq, cannot win Kashmir.

Obama, he’s involved in all these war crimes. It’s not as though he has expanded the war in Afghanistan, moved it into Pakistan. Pakistan is a country that is in such a lot of trouble because of this. Right when 9/11 happened, I remember writing saying you forced them to raise the Taliban in their midst, and now you want them to garret the pit that they grew in their own backyard. It’s going to lead to civil war. You didn’t need to be a genius to figure that out. And that has happened, you know? Continue reading

Hindustan Times: “Jailed Maoists to start peace talks”

Kobad Ghandy

[This news story has not been confirmed from other sources.  To our knowledge, there has not been any statement from the CPI(Maoist) regarding these developments and the role of the people included in this report.–ed.]

New Delhi, September 12, 2010

In a bid to get talks with Naxals going, the Centre has roped in arrested ideologues Kobad Ghandy and Narayan Sanyal, Swami Agnivesh has revealed to Hindustan Times.

He said the two were helping him to broker a “mutual cessation of hostilities or ceasefire leading to a final agreement”. Agnivesh has been acting as a go-between for the government and the Maoists.

“With the consent and facilitation of the central government, I recently met Ghandy and Sanyal in jail for around 90 minutes each to discuss how to arrive at an understanding between the Maoists and the government,” he told HT.

Sources confirmed to HT that the government had given its “consent” to Agnivesh to involve Ghandy and Sanyal in the talks process with the Maoists.

Ghandy (63), a London-educated chartered accountant and a politburo member of the Communist Party of India (Maoist), is in a high security solitary cell in Delhi’s Tihar Jail.

He was arrested in February under the tough Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. Continue reading

India: Peace Talks mediator exits peace process, says govt is not serious

Sun Aug 29 2010

Kolkata : Swami Agnivesh had been assigned to act as a mediator between the government and the Maoists and bring them to the talks table, has decided to stay out of the peace process as according to him the UPA government lacks the seriousness to start negotiations with the Maoists.

“I have decided to stay out of the process until Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Union Home Minister P Chidambaram show any positive response to the initiative. I have tried to communicate some information and messages, which I received from the central committee of the CPI-Maoists. I had asked the Prime Minister’s office to arrange an appointment with the PM, but even after a month I have not received any response from the PMO,” an irate Agnivesh told The Indian Express.

Earlier, Agnivesh had been requested to act as a mediator by Chidambaram.

“From July 20 onwards, I have gone to the PMO and approached the officers on phone more than 15 times. But I was not given any satisfactory reply. If the Prime Minister does not have time for a serious discussion, which is very important for the future of the country, they why should I bother about it? It is not my domestic work. So, I have decided to stay aloof from the peace process till I receive any positive response from the Centre,” he said. Continue reading

Post-mortem indicates Azad was shot from close range

August 23, 2010

Top Maoist leader Azad, who the Andhra Pradesh police claimed to have killed in an encounter on July 1, was shot from very close range, according to his post-mortem report accessed by’s Krishnakumar Padamanbhan.

Top Maoist leader Azad, alias Cherukuri Rajkumar, who the Andhra Pradesh police claimed to have killed in an encounter in the forests of Adilabad district in Andhra Pradesh, was shot from very close range, probably from less than one foot, according to his post mortem report, accessed by

The post-mortem report stands in contradiction with the police version that Azad was killed in a gun-battle between 11 pm and 11.30 pm on July 1 in Sarkepally village, Wankedi, in Adilabad district.

After the Andhra Pradesh police claimed Azad, a member of the Communist Party of India-Maoist central committee and politburo as well as its national spokesman, was killed in the forests of Adilabad district, the Maoists claimed that he had been picked up in Nagpur a day earlier, flown to Adilabad by helicopter, and executed in cold blood along with a man named Hemchandra Pandey. Continue reading

Faking an Encounter: Killing the Peace Process


Member Organizations: PCHR (J&K), AFDR(Punjab), PUCL (Rajasthan), PUCL (Jharkhand), PUCL(Chhattisgarh), PUCL(Nagpur), COHR (Manipur), MASS(Assam), NPMHR (Naga Areas), APDR(West Bengal), Bandhi Mukti Morcha (West Bengal), LHS (Maharastra), APCLC (Andhra Pradesh), HRF (Andhra Pradesh), PUDR(Delhi), PDF (Karnataka), OPDR (Andhra Pradesh), Campaign for peace and Democracy in Manipur



Preliminary Report of the All India Fact Finding Team on the Killing of Azad and H. C Pandey

Released to the media at Hyderabad on 22 August, 2010

CDRO put together a team of concerned citizens consisting of Prof. Emeritus Amit Bahaduri, J.N.U., Delhi, Senior Counsel of Supreme Court Mr. Prashant Bhushan, Kavita Srivatsava, Human Rights worker from Rajasthan, Gautam Navlakha writer & from PUDR, Delhi, Kranthi Chaitanya, Advocate and General Secretary of APCLC, D. Suresh Kumar, Advocate, APCLC, Ch. Sudhakar Rao, President of OPDR, D. Venkateswarlu, OPDR. The team visited Wankadi Mandal, Adilabad District on 20th & 21st of August, 2010 where the alleged encounter of Mr. Azad @ Cherukuri Rajkumar who was spokesperson of CPI Maoist Central Committee Member and Journalist Hemachandra Pandey took place on the intervening night of 1st and 2nd July, 2010. Three fact findings had earlier already carried out spot investigations. The team met the local villagers, local police, and local media personal and perused FIR, inquest and postmortem report. Continue reading

India: ‘Fact-finding team’ on killing of CPI(Maoist) spokesperson Azad to release probe details

Times of India

NAGPUR: A ‘fact-finding team,’ formed by democratic rights and civil liberties organizations to probe into the alleged fake encounter of Naxal leader and party spokesperson Azad and journalist Hem Chandra Pandey on July 1, is set to release their findings before the media at Hyderabad on Sunday.

CPI (Maoist) spokesperson Azad

The team, which began its probe on Saturday in Adilabad, was sent on the behalf 24 organizations espousing the cause of democratic rights and civil liberties. The probe members already visited the villages close to the Wankedi jungle where Azad and his journalist friend were gunned down. The controversy flared up recently when railway minister Mamta Banerjee cornered the security agencies by supporting the claim of Naxals and pro-Maoist organizations that Azad was ‘murdered.’

“The autopsy report (of Azad) suggested that the entry and exit wounds were narrow in diameter, indicating that bullets were fired from close range. In case of a real encounter, the diameter of bullet wounds and exit points would be different, establishing the fact that the encounter was fake,” said activist Kranti Chetan, general secretary of Andhra Pradesh civil liberties committee.

The allegations of pro-Naxal front organizations were that Azad and Pandey were picked up by Andhra Pradesh-based security and intelligence agencies from Nagpur railway station on July 1. They were later taken to Adilabad and gunned down. The activists had rubbished outright the claim of security agencies that Azad and Pandey were intercepted while crossing over to Adilabad from Maharashtra and killed after an exchange of fire.

Protests of pro-Maoist organizations and civil liberty bodies against Azad’s killing, Operation Green Hunt and government of India’s ‘anti-tribal’ policy also gathered steam in the recent past. International rights organizations held protests in London, New York and California coinciding with the Indian Independence day to highlight the issue. Continue reading

8/7/2010: Press Conference by Concerned Citizens (Press Club, New Delhi)

Institute a Judicial Inquiry into the Killing of Azad, Polit Bureau Member of CPI (Maoist) and Freelance Journalist Hem Chandra Pandey

Stop War on People, Take up Peace Process Genuinely and Sincerely

The Government of India has not issued a statement or given a public clarification so far on the killing of Azad, spokesperson of CPI (Maoist), and Delhi-based journalist Hem Chandra Pandey on 2 July 2010. Subsequent to these incidents, Union Home Minister P Chidambaram who has been outspoken on his ‘abjure violence for 72 hours’ position, has been remarkably silent on these instances of state violence, and on his offer of ceasefire and dialogue with the Maoists. Nor has he responded to strong and widespread protests against these instances of the state’s violence. This is especially consequential because Azad was communicating with the Home Minister through Swami Agnivesh on his offer of ceasefire and dialogue.

Irina Bokova, Director-General of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the only United Nations agency with a mandate to defend freedom of expression and freedom of Press, asked the Government of India to investigate the circumstances under which freelance journalist Hem Chandra Pandey was killed. Asia-Pacific Director Jacqueline Park of the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has said that “specialized in covering social issues, he ( Hemant Pandey) had gone to Nagpur to interview a leader of the banned Communist Party of India (Maoist), Cherukuri Rajkumar, alias Azad, who was said to be attempting to negotiate a truce with the authorities”. Further the basic principles of Article 21 of the Constitution and United Nations Declaration of Human Rights demand that there should be a judicial inquiry into this assassination.

Hundreds of organizations throughout the world have condemned the killing of Azad and Hem Chandra Pandey and demanded an enquiry by a constitutionally mandated agency. Yet the Government of India continues to remain silent. Swami Agnivesh, the interlocutor of the Government has publicly expressed his anguish and declared that he fears that the system of communication opened to negotiate the peace process was used to trace and then kill Azad. Continue reading

The Maoist and the undelivered missive; Azad’s death is no man’s peace


From Tehelka Magazine, July 17, 2010


SOCIAL ACTIVIST Swami Agnivesh sits in his room at 7 Jantar Mantar, perplexed, battling a strange sense of guilt. For the past few months, he has been

Swami Agnivesh


mediating a backroom dialogue between the Government of India and the CPI(Maoist). Since May 2010, Agnivesh had facilitated the exchange of two letters between the warring parties. On June 26, he dispatched a third letter to top Maoist leader Cherukuri Rajkumar alias Azad. “The peace process was at a critical juncture. A very positive response was expected,”

Agnivesh told TEHELKA. “I was to receive a date from which talks could begin.” Much to his horror, what he received instead was news that Azad — the receipent of his letter — had been killed in the forests of Andhra Pradesh. “It is possible that Azad let his guard down because of my last letter,” Agnivesh said. “It is a great loss for all of us, including the government. Azad was a key person and most favourably disposed to the peace process. We must ensure that his death does not derail the possibility of peace.”

But the Home Ministry has a different view. “I don’t think this is a setback to the peace process. We had not received any positive response from CPIMaoist,” Home Secretary GK Pillai told TEHELKA.

For every conversation that leaps us forward, there are strings that pull us back. The rhetoric of Maoists killing 27 CRPF men two days before Azad’s death is one such shackle. Reading that attack as an indication that the Maoists were not serious about peace would be misleading. The on-going backroom dialogue was aimed at deciding a date from which a mutual cessation of violence would begin. Until such a date was arrived at, it was understood the violence would continue from both sides. And it did. In the weeks leading up to Azad’s death — five maoists were killed in Lalgarh, several maoist sympathisers were arrested, and adiviasi women continued to be raped by the forces. The Maoists too continued to kill.

The reason why Azad’s death must be seen outside this cycle of violence is because Azad was a key and unlikely salesman of truce, carrying Swami Agnivesh — and by default P Chidambaram’s message to comrades in Dandakaranya. “Azad was building consensus for a ceasefire within the party. He had our full mandate. Now the government has shown it was never interested in talks,” Usendi, Maoist spokesperson of the Dandakaranya Special Zone Committee, told TEHELKA. Continue reading

Indian Journalists Protest Killing of Azad’s Companion

IJU, APUWJ demand probe

The Indian Journalists Union (IJU) and the AP Union of Working Journalists (APUWJ) today demanded an inquiry by an independent authority into the killing of Hemchandra Pandey, a freelance journalist, in an encounter along with top Maoist leader Cherukuri Rajkumar alias Azad in Adilabad last week.
Hemchandra Pandeys wife Babita cries over his coffin in new delhi on wednesday. Picture by ramakant kushwahaHemchandra Pandeys wife Babita cries over his coffin in New Delhi on Wednesday.

HYDERABAD: There was mild tension at Basheerbagh as media personnel made a vain bid to take out a procession with the body of Hemchandra Pandey, the journalist gunned down by the police in the company of Maoist leader Azad in the forests of Adilabad district last week.

Police prevented them from marching to the Basheerbagh crossroads, sparking off heated argument. Miffed, journalists hunkered down on the road and shouted slogans against the encounter killing.

Pandey’s body was brought in an ambulance to the old Press Club at Basheerbagh around 2 pm. Amid slogans of `Hemchandra Pandey Amar Hai,’ his mortal remains were placed outside the club to allow journalists to pay their last respects.Senior journalists and civil rights activists including singer Gadar and Virasam member Varavara Rao and others paid last respects to the journalist.

Journalists condemned the killing of Pandey and demanded that all `encounters’ be treated as murders and action taken against the policemen involved in the killing.After the tributes were paid, journalists tried to take the body in a procession to Basheerbagh crossroads but a huge posse of policemen, already deployed anticipating trouble, stopped them right in front of the Press Club. Continue reading

Revolutionary songs, slogans mark Maoist leader Azad’s last rites

The funeral of Maoist leader Azad in Hyderabad on Sunday

Hyderabad, July 4 (IANS) The last rites of top Maoist leader Cherukuri Rajkumar alias Azad were performed here Sunday amid revolutionary songs, slogans and red salutes by sympathisers, former extremists and civil liberties activists.
Azad’s brother Anil Kumar aided by revolutionary writer Varavara Rao and others lit the funeral pyre around 2 p.m. as the slogans of ‘Lal salam, lal salam’ (red salute) and ‘Comrade Azad amar rahe’ rent the air.
For over two hours, the mourners from various groups held a meeting at Panjagutta cremation ground, paying tributes to Azad and accusing the central and state governments of killing him in a stage-managed gunfight.

Speakers, including revolutionary writers, poets, singers, intellectuals and rights activists, described Azad as a ‘hero’ and vowed to continue the fight to fulfil his dreams. Continue reading

India: It is not an encounter at all!! It is a cold blooded murder by Andhra Pradesh Police!!



North Regional Bureau

Press statement

3rd July, 2010

It is not an encounter at all!! It is a cold blooded murder by AP Police!!

Red Salutes to Martyrs com. Azad (Cherukuri Rajkumar) and com. Hem Pandey (Jitender)!!

Let us avenge the killings of the beloved comrades by the khaki clad fascist gangs of AP government!!

Azad was arrested at Nagpur on June 1st along with com. Hem Pandey

On June 1st, the notorious Andhra Pradesh Special Branch Police for its abductions and cold blooded murders, have arrested com. Azad, Polite Bureau member and Spokesperson of CPI (Maoist), and com. Hem Pandey, a zonal committee level comrade in Nagpur city around 11’o clock when they went to meet a comrade who was supposed to receive them from Dandakarnaya zone. Com. Azad reached Nagpur around 10 am on the fateful day along with com. Hem Pandey, after travelling from long distance.  With specific information, the lawless goons of AP SIB abducted them, perhaps flown them in a helicopter, to Adilabad jungles near Maharashtra border and killed them point block and in cold blood. Continue reading