By Express News Service, 17th March 2015
[But the truth lies elsewhere: 40,000 trained as Maoists in 10 years — Frontlines ed.]
Monday, 19 January 2015 | Place: New Delhi | Agency: dna
In the past 10 years, Communist Party of India (Maoists) organised as many as 489 training camps for more than 40,000 cadres who have been taught about the use of sophisticated weapons and guerrilla warfare, according to information obtained under the Right to Information (RTI) Act from the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).
[Decades after the first wave of Maoist revolutionary struggle in India, often referred to as the Naxalite rebellion, was brutally suppressed by the Indian State, and the movement was splintered into many groups and parties, the struggle to unite the Maoists has taken a great step forward. Beginning nearly 10 years ago with the merger of the People’s War Group and the Maoist Coordination Center, forming the Communist Party of India (Maoist), now, a further step merging the CPI (Maoist) with the CPI(ML)-Naxalbari has advanced the struggle to a stronger and more developed stage. The newly unified party announced this advance on May Day, International Workers Day, with the following statement. — Revolutionary Frontlines]
May 1, 2014
Merger Declaration of CPI(Maoist) and CPI(M-L)Naxalbari
Hail the Merger of the Maoist Parties in India into a Single Party!
(Released to the press by comrades Abhay and Krantipriya, spokespersons of the respective parties)
On this occasion of the International day of the world proletariat, the glorious May Day, we the Maoists of India, with a great sense of responsibility and firm conviction, announce the merger of the CPI (Maoist) and CPI(M-L) Naxalbari into a single party, to be known as CPI(Maoist). Thus strengthening the vanguard of the Indian proletariat, which is a contingent of the world proletariat, we dedicate ourselves evermore firmly to the cause of the Indian revolution and the world proletarian revolution.
The Maoist movement took form through the great Naxalbari uprising of 1967. Inspired and led by comrades Charu Mazumdar and Kanhai Chatterjee, founder leaders of our party, thousands of leaders, cadres and masses laid down their invaluable lives to advance the revolutionary movement and build a strong party.
After the setback of early 1970s and the martyrdom of comrade Charu Mazumdar, the communist revolutionary forces were divided into many groups. The genuine revolutionaries while trying to build the movement in their respective areas made serious attempts to unify all revolutionaries into a single party. In the course of this process over the last four decades the two main streams represented by the erstwhile CPI (ML) (People’s War) and the MCCI merged into a single party, the CPI (Maoist), on 21st September 2004. This marked a qualitative leap in realizing a long drawn aspiration of the workers, peasants and other oppressed masses to build a single directing centre leading the new democratic revolutionary war in India to success and marching forward to establishing socialism and then communism. Continue reading
“India is a vast and highly complex society with uneven and varied development. It has the universal features of any semi-colonial, semi-feudal society under the grip of finance capital; it also has many a specificity, which requires deep study and analysis. Revolution here is no simple task. While focusing on the axis of the armed agrarian revolution it would additionally entail dealing with and solving the varied and numerous diseases afflicting our socio-political system. The new democratic revolution entails the total democratization of the entire system and all aspects of life – political, economic, social, cultural, educational, recreational, etc. The standard of life has to be enhanced, not only materially but also in the sphere of outlook and values. A new social being has to emerge in the course of the revolutionary process.” — Comrade Azad
Cherukari Rajkumar (1954-2010), popularly known as Azad, spokesperson of the Communist Party of India (Maoist), served the cause of the Indian revolution for over thirty five years till he was murdered by state forces on July 1, 2010. His leadership concentrated the very best of revolutionary Maoism in his adherence to principle, his reliance on the revolutionary masses, and his insistence on never deviating from the revolutionary goal. He fought against every mischaracterization of the revolutionary struggle, especially such claims that the Maoists were self-seeking, opportunistically using the masses. The people’s war, he insisted, was not of Maoists substituting themselves for the masses, but of the masses struggling for revolution and liberation in every sphere of life, and the role of the Maoists is to serve the revolution of the masses as organizers, leaders, educators, and defenders. He extended this view to the revolutionary overthrow of feudalism and capitalism which will establish a socialist state, in which the revolutionary Maoists will remain among the masses and continue the revolution, organizing and leading the struggle to transform every economic, political, and social relation, toward the final goal of communism. Today, on the third anniversary of his cowardly ambush-murder by the Indian fascist state, we honor his memory with a serious, internationalist red salute, and with the determination to continue his legacy.
We present an interview with Azad, conducted a few months before his assassination, in which he details the views of the Communist Party of India (Maoist). Lal Salaam! Inquilab Zindabad! — Frontlines ed.]
from: Mainstream, Vol XLVIII, No 6, January 30, 2010
‘Let Us Not Make Truth A Casualty In This War’
Azad exposes Chidambaram’s Clear-and-Hold operations based on the Stratetgic Hamlet programme pursued by Britain in Malaya and the USA in Vietnam
“The following interview of Comrade Azad, spokesperson of the CPI (Maoist) Central Committee, given to the Maoist information Bulletin on October 19, 2009 reached our (Mainstream Weekly) office in late December last year. This wideranging interview—on the current Centrally-planned anti-Maoist offensive in our tribal heartland and related issues [including violence and counter-violence, Maoists’ talks with the government, the CPI (Maoist)’s stand on development, charges of extortion, beheading of Francis Induvar, recruitment of child soldiers etc.]—is being published in full here despite its length due to its importance in the present scenario and for the benefit of our readers.” — (Mainstream Weekly Editor)
Q: There is a lot of talk about an unprecedented massive military offensive due to begin anytime now. How will your Party confront it?
Azad: The fact is, the unprecedented massive offensive has already begun. In the Chintagufa area in Dantewada district almost 4000 police and Central forces led by around 600 elite commandos of the anti-Naxal COBRA force had carried out their biggest-ever counter-revolutionary operation called Operation Green Hunt in the third week of September. Some media reporters described it as Operation Red Hunt. Whatever is the name, it was the first major attempt by the Central and State forces to wrest a part of the territory from the hands of the oppressed people led by the Maoists. This operation was a sort of a rehearsal for the forthcoming Centrally-planned countrywide simultaneous offensive on all our guerrilla zones.
When the enemy attack took place near Singanamadugu village, our forces present there were hardly 50 or 60 in number. But they fought heroically, and successfully repulsed the attack by a superior force, by totally relying on the people. It was the people who gave us the information regarding each and every movement of the enemy force. Hence our guerrillas could deal the first biggest blow to these so-called COBRAs who were specially trained in jungle warfare and sent to wage an unjust war against the Maoist revolutionaries. Six of their men including two assistant commandants—one from Manipur and another from UP—were wiped out in the real battle. These brave COBRAs demonstrated their heroism and courage by murdering seven unarmed adivasi villagers, including two aged men and a woman, and burning four villages. Not a single Maoist was killed contrary to the false claims of the police that 22 Maoists were killed. Our forces chased them for about 10 kilometres. The people of the entire area stood with us in this counter-attack on the thugs sent by Manmohan-Chidambaram’s khadi gang at the Centre and Raman Singh’s saffron gang in Chhattisgarh. This heroic resistance by a handful of Maoist guerrillas underscores the superiority of the tactics of guerrilla war and the massive mass support enjoyed by the Maoists. It demonstrates the ability of our Maoist guerrillas to confront and defeat a numerically far superior enemy force equipped with all the sophisticated weaponry, aerial support and what not, by relying on the sea of people in which we swim like fish.
In the second week of October once again Chidambaram’s men unleashed another massive offensive by amassing 10, 000 men in Gadchiroli district in Maharashtra with MI-17 choppers surveying the area from the skies. It was as if an army from an enemy country was waging war on the Indian people. In the face of it our forces had successfully carried out a massive political campaign against the farce of the Assembly elections that were held on October 13 in Maharashtra.
Here I shall not go into the concrete details of our precise tactics to confront and defeat the unprecedented, massive, brazen offensive on the most oppressed people being unleashed by the Indian ruling classes on behalf of the imperialists and the comprador big business houses. I can only confidently say one thing for the present: All our plans, policies, strategy and tactics will be based entirely on the active involvement of the vast masses of people in this war of self-defence. The enemy class cannot decimate us without decimating the entire population in the regions we control. And if it dares to go into an all-out war of extermination of the tribal population the entire socio-politico scene in India will undergo a fundamental shift and will witness a radical realignment of class forces. All peace-loving, democratic, patriotic, secular forces, all the downtrodden sections of the society will polarise into one pole while the most reactionary, anti-people, authoritarian, traitorous, jingoist counter-revolutionary forces will end up at the opposite pole. Such a polarisation is bound to take place as the war advances and the enemy’s mercenary forces attempt to turn central and eastern India into a graveyard. The warmongers will be isolated and will face unprecedented social and political crises. However, on behalf of our Party, PLGA, revolutionary mass organisations and organs of people’s democratic power, I can assure the people of our country that with their support, direct as well as indirect, we shall deal crushing blows on the enemy’s mercenary forces and defeat their plans to hand over these regions to the international and domestic bandicoots.
Q: But your forces had killed around 20 policemen, most of them C-60 commandos, in Laheri in Gadchiroli district on the eve of the elections in Maharashtra. Is it not due to incidents like this which is provoking the government to deploy huge forces in these areas?
Azad: No, no. It is the other way round. It is because of the indescribable atrocities perpetrated by the specially-trained anti-Naxal forces that we are compelled to carry out such attacks. If they do not harass the poor, unarmed adivasi population; if they do not arrest, torture, murder them, and rape their women; if they do not engage in destroying the property, burn villages and crops of the adivasis; if they do not indulge in cold-blooded murders of abducted Maoists and declare them dead in so-called encounters, then why will our forces undertake such attacks? How can this be a provocation? You know who the C-60 commandos are? They are specifically formed as an elite anti-Naxal force whose one and only task is to kill Naxalites and Naxal sympathisers. If no Naxalite is found they pounce on hapless adivasi villagers, arrest them, torture them, and murder them. And adivasi women have become their objects of rape. You might have heard of the heart-chilling story of a 13-year-old girl from Pavarvel village in Dhanora tehsil who was gangraped by five or six commandos led by the notorious Munna Singh Thakur in March this year. Or the case of the gangrape and murder of 52-year-old Mynabai from Kosimi village by several policemen in Gyarapatti PS in the same Danora tehsil in May last year. For the directors of this war on adivasis —Manmohan Singh, Chidambaram, G.K. Pillai and others—the gangrapes of a 13-year-old girl or a 52-year-old woman are only collateral damage in their larger war for capturing the region to plunder its wealth. Continue reading
COMMUNIST PARTY OF INDIA (MAOIST) — CENTRAL COMMITTEE
Press Release, June 11, 2013
See through the conspiracy of the ruling classes to launch bigger offensives on the people using the 25 May attack as a pretext
Unite, Fight back and Defeat the ‘War on People’
The gangster community that made Indian Parliament its lair is in panic. Terrified. Aflutter. Seething. Fuming. Up in arms. Baying for blood. Baring its fangs. Spitting poison. After all the May 25 Jeeramghati attack struck down one of their best trusted lieutenants in field. Quite Understandable.
Actually speaking, the scamster-gangster bunch does not care much for Mahendra Karma’s death because they knew that this was something waiting to happen even when they were carrying on mayhem and murder under Salwa Judum (SJ) which they all had contributed to create or let pester like senators watching gladiatorial contests in amphi-theaters, with Karma as SJ’s public face and with the support of fascist central and state mercenary armed forces. They are frightened more because in this country where every kind of exploitation, oppression, suppression, corruption and scam is carried on almost unchallenged, as the order of the day and shamelessly under public gaze, the fact that somebody ‘out there’ can bring these fascist scamster-gangsters to book and deliver justice is not so easy to stomach. It is like finding oneself completely naked and vulnerable with all robes of Z plus securities and paraphernalia of security suddenly vanishing into thin air with the fury of the suppressed masses breathing down their necks. Highly explicable. A strong reason to be upset.
Who knows who will be next? More chillingly, what would be in store if people completely vexed with the increasingly unbearable treacherous, undemocratic, slavish and wicked anti-people deeds of the pet-dog politicians choose to consider this as an option to vent their ire to put an end to their habitual comprador performance? Even worse, what if they consider doing away with the whole bunch by overthrowing the parliamentary system as the Maoists vouch to and call upon the people to follow? Very worrying indeed.
And for once it is better that they be. They better understand that not every politician can get away with the kind of neo-fascist suppression of the poorest of the poor of this country that was perpetrated in the name of a Salwa Judum, a Sendra, a Shanti Yatra, a Shanti Sena, a Harmad Bahini, a Bhairav Bahini, a TPC or an Operation Green Hunt, can get away with selling the riches of our country one by one as a daily routine at breakfast, lunch and dinner to fill the insatiable black-hole belly of the imperialist beast, can get away with turning every word that gives meaning to our existence as human beings like freedom, independence, sovereignty, self-reliance and democracy meaningless. They better realize for the umpteenth time (counting all such instances since the days of a Spartacus) that a people crushed so cruelly can never take everything lying down forever. For once it is better that they be alarmed.
Karma, a medieval type land lord, architect of SJ, looter, sadist, rapist and enemy of his own tribe; most of his security men, cannon fodder but undoubtedly deployed to aid in his mayhem and massacre; some SJ leaders; and some top Congress leaders were wiped out in the 25 May incident. Unfortunately a few others who got caught in the initial firing also died in spite of our sincere efforts to minimize the casualties once the main targets were caught and Comrade Gudsa Usendi, the Spokesperson of our Party’s DK unit had already tendered apology for it. The list of brutalities perpetrated by Karma and his ilk could fill many a volume. Though not all, many of them have been documented in detail by the CPI (Maoist), revolutionary and democratic mass organizations, civil and human rights organizations, democrats, journalists and concerned citizens for all those who want to see. There is no purpose to the various conspiracy theories doing their rounds in the media about the reasons for this attack other than diverting the people’s attention from the truth. An unabashed conspiracy by the corporate media to hide the truth about the brutality of the SJ and the role of the Indian Army, big corporate houses, central and state governments, the Congress and BJP parties and slaughterers like Karma in its creation and developing it into a man-eating monster. Such is its impatience to get rid of the Maoists that it did not even take into account that SJ was termed illegal by their own highest institution the Supreme Court. And all of them including Jairam Ramesh have once again repeated the most nonsensical and exhausted argument of ‘sandwich theory’ that Adivasis are being crushed between the armed forces on one side and the Maoists on the other. If they really believe in this then why don’t they demand first that the armed forces deployed in lakhs by the central and state governments be immediately withdrawn when they are agreeing that they suppress Adivasis? Their lies fly in their face with the fact that the overwhelming majority of Maoists are Adivasis in the strong areas of the movement. Our Party reiterates that we never work against the interests of the people. It is solely the ruling classes and their forces that suppress the people and our Party fights it back. Continue reading
by Bernard D’Mello and Gautam Navlakha
The ambush on May 25 by Maoist guerrillas in the Darba Ghati valley (in the Sukma area of the Bastar region in southern Chhattisgarh), 345 kms south of the state capital of Raipur, of a convoy of provincial Congress Party leaders has shocked the Indian state apparatus. The Z-plus and other categories of armed security personnel — entitlements of the ‘lords’ of India’s political establishment — were no match for the guerrillas. The main targets of the attack were Mahendra Karma, founder of the state-promoted, financed and armed private vigilante force, Salwa Judum (SJ), and Nand Kumar Patel, the chief of the Congress Party in the province and a former home minister of the state.
A press statement issued by Dandakaranya Special Zonal Committee of the Communist Party of India (Maoist) (CPI [Maoist]) on May 26 states that the “goal of this attack was mainly to eliminate Mahendra Karma and some other reactionary Congress top leaders”. It pointedly reminds Chhattisgarh’s state government leaders and state police officials “who are hell-bent on crushing the revolutionary movement of Dandakaranya” that they suffer from a “big illusion that they are unbeatable”. Mahendra Karma too falsely believed “that Z-plus Security and bullet proof vehicles would save him forever”. The statement also clarifies that in Chhattisgarh “there are no differences between [the] ruling BJP [Bharatiya Janata Party] and opposition Congress in terms of policies of suppressing the revolutionary movement. Only due to public pressure, as well as to gain electoral benefits, some of the local leaders of the Congress at times came [out] in condemnation of incidents like [the] Sarkeguda and Edsametta massacres”.
The convoy was returning from a “Parivartan Yatra” (“March for Change”) rally in Sukma and the Maoists knew not only that Karma and Patel were in the convoy, but even the route that it was to take. The assassinations were thus meticulously planned and executed, though they took a two-hour long gun battle with the state forces to accomplish, a clash in which many who merely serve or protect (the latter, armed personnel) the oppressors, and do so because they have little choice, were either killed or injured. The Maoist guerrillas reportedly even provided first aid to some of these persons who suffered injuries. Continue reading
[See two articles from India’s bourgeois media, below. — Frontlines ed.]
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.
[Despite ongoing claims of imminent demise of Maoist forces, the Indian State remains obsessed over the continuing growth of the people’s movements and People’s War. Two major newspapers, known for reporting the “official” views, describe their worries in the following articles from the Hindustan Times and ZeeNews. While the accuracy of their assessments cannot be confirmed, the adage “time will tell” certainly applies. — Frontlines ed.]
Aloke Tikku, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, April 15, 2013
Three-state Red corridor is new Maoist threat
In bad news for security forces, Maoists have managed to form a Red corridor that gives them easy movement and safe passage through three states – Chhattisgarh, Odisha and Jharkhand.
The term Red corridor has so far been used for the entire naxal-infested region in India that includes the three states as well as parts of Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal and Maharashtra.
But recent interrogation of arrested cadre has revealed it now literally means a narrow but contiguous strip that runs from the southern tip of Chhattisgarh to central Jharkhand – the two key theatres of naxal violence.
Such a corridor would be crucial to the Maoist strategy of enabling free and safe movement of its military companies from one battlefield to another.
Government sources told HT that Maoists arrested in recent weeks, including a courier, had confirmed the corridor was now in use.
“A corridor is essentially a question of support structures. In recent times, they have strengthened themselves in Odisha’s heavily-forested Naupada district,” a home ministry official said.
This means Maoists have managed to build a reasonable support base among the local population along the Chhattisgarh-Odisha border, right up to Jharkhand’s Gumla district. Continue reading
[Anuradha Gandhy, a leading member of the Communist Party of India (Maoist), was both intellectual and activist who wrote about and organized the revolutionary women’s movement in India, developed theory on the relationship of the women’s movement and the movement of Dalits to the overall revolutionary struggle, and many other significant contributions. Her life was cut short with an untimely death due to disease in 2008. But her spirit and her words continue to guide the ongoing revolutionary movement. As March 8, International Women’s Day, approaches, we offer this interview with “Anu” from 2001. — Frontlines ed.]
Interview with Com. Janaki (Anuradha Gandhy) from the March 2001 issue of Poru Mahila, the organ of Krantikari Adivasi Mahila Sanghatan, DK.
People’s War has shattered the hesitations of the women of Dandakaranya!
(In this issue of Poru Mahila we are introducing to our readers Com. Janaki who had been working in the urban movement and had come to Dandakaranya to observe the adivasi peasant movement and to participate in it. Com. Janaki had led the guerilla squads directly as a divisional committee member of South Bastar from 1997 to 2000. Poru Mahila chatted with her on her experiences in the urban movement and in the adivasi peasant movement. We are here presenting the main features of that conversation – Editor, Poru Mahila).
Po. Ma: Com. Janaki, would you please first explain to us the oppression faced by urban women?
Com. J: Though all women in India are under feudal, capitalist, imperialist and patriarchal oppression, it is seen in various forms in different areas, the urban and the rural areas. The working class and middle class women in urban areas have some specific problems.
Firstly, if we look at the problems inside the family, even in urban areas women are oppressed by the feudal culture.
Though the oppression of this culture may be less severe, still the majority of the young girls and women do not get the right to take important decisions regarding their lives from the family. The unmarried girls are under pressure to marry men from the same caste and same religion according to the decisions of the family. If a girl decides to marry a man of her choice from another caste or religion she will be subjected to a lot of pressure. She would have to face severe opposition from the family. Even if a woman wants to work outside home she will have to take the permission of her father, brother or husband. People of some castes and religions (for e.g. the Muslims and Kshatriyas) do not like their woman to do jobs. So it becomes inevitable for women to fight even for economic independence.
In addition since capitalist values have spread widely man-woman relations have also become commercialized and women are facing severe problems. The dowry and other items which have to be given to the grooms’ family before and after marriage has become a big problem for the parents who gave birth to girls. Added to that, it had become common to all communities to harass women for dowry both physically and mentally. When the wife’s life can be measured in money and gold killing her for their sake is not far behind. This terrible situation can be found in many households in the urban areas now-a-days. Especially since the past 25-30 years may be India is the only country in the world where the new crime of burning brides for dowry has come into vogue. Continue reading
[In another implementation of the highly-touted unmanned drone technology, India is planning to spy from the sky what they cannot get on the ground. The uses of these remote-controlled “flying camera” devices has spread worldwide, and has been utilized in many operations where innocent people have been falsely identified and targeted–and, in many cases, killed by armed UAV’s or by armed forces who have been provided with fragmentary and often unclear drone imagery. The news report, below, did not indicate if the drone was manufactured and supplied by the US or by Israel–the two major UAV manufacturers. — Frontlines ed.]
Srinath Vudali, TNN | Feb 6, 2012
An UAV is likely to be pressed into service in the Visakha agency and the border districts of Andhra to help in intelligence gathering.
HYDERABAD: An unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) or drone is likely to be pressed into service in the Visakha agency and the border districts of the state to help in intelligence gathering on a real-time basis. The UAV base will be set up at Madurapuddi near Rajahmundry.
A senior official of Special Intelligence Branch (SIB), an elite anti-Maoist wing, told TOI that, about two months back, a UAV was used on an experimental basis in Andhra Pradesh and neighbouring Chhattisgarh and the results were positive enough for the drone to be introduced in anti-Maoist operations. Over the last few months, Maoists have stepped up their activities in the Visakha agency and in Vizianagaram.
“Already, the UAV has been tested in Warangal and certain districts of Chhattisgarh… It can be operationalised any day,” an intelligence officer said. The UAV, sponsored by the Union ministry of home affairs (MHA) and procured at a cost of Rs 30 crore, might be used in Andhra Pradesh, Orissa, Chhattisgarh but will have its base in Madurapuddi. “Our role is to mainly provide infrastructure for the setting up of the UAV base in Madurapuddi. However, Andhra Pradesh police has no direct role in the operation of the UAV since states which want to use it have to put in a request to the MHA,” sources said.
The UAV helps capture images even in dense forest areas and relays them in real-time to the base for security forces to be speedily mobilised.
Intelligence officials said that the UAV would be used during operations in Adilabad, Karimnagar, Warangal, Khammam, Visakhapatnam and the Andhra-Orissa Border.
[The Indian mass media, which is overwhelmingly in service to reactionary forces and which loyally promotes the confusing and fabricated stories of the police and military–routinely tells horrifying stories about the Maoists, and how the Maoists are so inferior that they have nearly completely collapsed. Such propaganda is clearly designed to discredit the growing (and diverse) political opposition and support for popular revolutionary forces. But the Indian state does not believe its own propaganda hype. It commissions its think tanks to make sober and realistic assessments of the growing strength and strategic course of the Maoists (to inform its generals and counter-insurgency military planners). Such is the nature of this report. — Frontlines ed.]
Maoist People’s Liberation Guerrilla Army
December 12, 2011
The People’s Liberation Guerrilla Army (PLGA) of Naxalites of the Communist Party of India (Maoist) [CPI (Maoist) in short], marked its 11th anniversary concluding on December 5, 2011. The rebels indulged in a spree of violence blasting government office buildings, schools and railway tracks in various places. They also attacked two police stations –– Dhivra and Tandwa in Bihar, both of which were successfully repulsed.
This annual, week-long commemoration came in the immediate aftermath of the killing of Mallojula Koteswara Rao alias Kishanji in a gun battle with the security forces, on November 24, 2011, in the Burisole forest area of West Midnapore district, West Bengal. Also, the Maoists gave a call for a general shutdown, with limited success, in their strongholds in various States on December 4 and 5 to protest the killing of Kishanji.
The PLGA was founded on December 2, 2000, originally as the People’s Guerrilla Army (PGA), by the then Communist Party of India–Marxist-Leninist (People’s War), PW in short, and popularly known as the PWG. The founding day also marked the first anniversary of the killing in an encounter of three Central Committee members of the then PW, Nalla Adi Reddy, Yerramreddy Santosh Reddy and Seelam Naresh in the Koyyuru forest area of Karimnagar district. Following the merger of the PW and the Maoist Communist Centre of India (MCCI), on September 21, 2004, the PGA was renamed as the PLGA.
At the time of launching the PLGA, Nambala Keasava Rao alias Basava Raju, who is believed to be the de facto head of the Maoist military machine, said that it was founded to “smash the rule of imperialism, feudalism, comprador bureaucrat capitalism, and to seize political power by setting up a new democratic state as a first step in the path to socialism.” Its flag signifies a resolve to overthrow the state through the force of arms. It carries a hammer and sickle cut across by a gun.
Besides, at its founding, the general secretary of the CPI (Maoist), Muppala Lakshmana Rao alias Ganapathy, who was also the general secretary of the then PW, said: “The PGA must mingle with the masses and become a part of their lives and their aspirations. In this way, the PGA will grow and equip itself to take on the multi-pronged attack by the government…” In fact, this is in consonance with what Mao Tse Tung once said: “… all the practical problems in the masses’ everyday life should claim our attention. If we attend to these problems, solve them and satisfy the needs of the masses, we shall really become organizers of the well-being of the masses, and they will truly rally round us and give us their warm support … ”1 Eventually, as the mass base of the PLGA expands to include various sections of society, the Maoists hope to transform the PLGA into the PLA. Continue reading
|In the second of a three-part series, Suvojit Bagchi meets the ‘eyes and ears’ of the Maoist and state militias.|
During my stay in Dandakaranya’s Maoist-dominated areas that lasted five weeks, I saw hundreds of young boys and girls with staleness in their eyes and an indifferent demeanour. One of them, Suklu, a man in his early 20s, accompanied me to Mettagaon, a village dominated by the rebels north of the Indrawati River. I often caught Suklu in the corner of the tent, listening to news on the radio with his usual nonchalance.
Occasionally, he would put a red flower behind his left ear and a matchstick in his right ear and roll it. Suklu prompted me to think of him as an ideal candidate for the National Rural Employment Scheme (NREGA).
On the third day of my visit to the forests of Dandakaranya, Suklu left me shocked. We were on our way to Mettagaon when he told me that he headed the defence wing of the village council.
“We are called jan (people’s) militia,” Suklu said, adding that he headed a group of 25. He explained that the militia was a local force and differed from the People’s Liberation Guerrilla Army, the armed wing of the Communist Party of India (Maoist).
“The militia’s role can be compared to that of the Bangladeshi freedom fighters of the 1971 war who acted as informers and mobilised sporadic attacks on the Pakistan Army or to Vietcong fighters, who the US Armed Forces referred to as ‘… man, woman or child… tough fighter (who fights for) liberation’,” he said.
The militiamen dress in civilian outfits, unlike the fatigue-clad PLGA members, and form several concentric and invisible layers around the fighters. The militiamen, being locals, mingle easily with villagers and collect information about the movement of state forces. In case a camp is exposed to a police operation, the Maoists use intelligence inputs from the militias to decide whether to stay put in the area, disappear or counter attack.
“We move faster than the forces as we know the terrain better,” Suklu said.
I stopped encouraging “romantic” notions about seemingly “incomplex” Gonds with brass earrings and red flowers in braids. It was, however, evident that the Left wing militias hardly care about the theoretical bits of Marxism or Maoism. Instead, they undertake dangerous assignments for the sake of the party.
One such assignment, to smuggle me across the area between the guerrilla base and police camps into Maoist-dominated regions, was undertaken by a man called Gassi. We walked past paramilitary camps even as Gassi thoughtfully acted as the lookout and asked me to “relax”. Curious as to what could drive someone to take such risks, I enquired about his motivation.
“My family has been systematically tortured by the forest and revenue guards,” Gassi said in broken Hindi. Continue reading
Jul 19, 2011
“The BBC’s Suvojit Bagchi, who was granted unprecedented access to a Maoist camp in the depths of the Chhattisgarh jungle, describes the rebels’ precarious life.
After eight hours of walking in dense forest, in the early evening we entered a narrow, barren stretch of land hemmed in by hillocks.
At the far end stood a few blue and yellow tents.
Somji, one of the men who collected me between a small town in south Chhattisgarh and the thick central Indian forest, picked up speed as we approached.
A tall man standing guard with a rifle flung over his shoulder whistled and people started rushing towards us.
In under a minute, the camp members stood in formation and began singing a welcome song.
Each member in the queue raised their fist to whisper “lal salaam” – “red salute”.
Mostly aged between 15 and 30 years old, the men and women in the camp wore rubber sandals, olive green battle fatigues and carried guns of various makes.
India’s Maoist rebels say they are fighting for the rights of indigenous tribespeople and the rural poor.”
COMMUNIST PARTY OF INDIA (MAOIST), CENTRAL COMMITTEE
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
By Claire Black
A note slipped under a hotel room door. A boy with a Charlie Brown rucksack. Two unknown men on motorbikes. Hours of walking. That was Arundhati Roy’s route into the forests of central India, an area she describes as “homeland to millions of India’s tribal people, dreamland to the corporate world”.
This contested land is the backdrop to Roy’s new book, Broken Republic, the central essay of which is a fine piece of reportage detailing the three weeks she spent with the Maoist guerrilla movement and the tribal people, the adivasi, who are resisting the government’s plans to “develop” and mine the land on which they live.
Roy walked for hours each day, met with the most wanted guerrilla fighters, ate and talked with the insurgents, nearly half of whom are women, and spent her nights sleeping on a blue plastic sheet, a jhillie, in “the most beautiful room I have slept in in a long time. My private suite in a thousand-star hotel.”
The language is lyrical, but Roy’s critique is excoriating. This area, already ravaged by bloody battles, with guerrillas on one side and government paramilitaries on the other, is on the brink of becoming a war zone, she argues. The army is ready to move in and forcibly clear the adivasi from their land. For Roy, the stakes could not be higher – the fight is for the very “soul of India”.
From the thousand stars of the Dantewada forests, to the five stars of a London hotel, where, over a cup of tea, Roy proves no less passionate in person than in prose. Turning 50 this year, she looks much younger. Her hair, long and curly is flecked with grey but her skin is smooth. Her clothes are quirky and stylish: wide black trousers (“homemade” she smiles) and a tailcoat. Her diamond nose stud glinting.
Roy may be one of India’s most celebrated novelists, but as a political campaigner she’s an unapologetic thorn in the flesh of the Indian state. She argues that despite the headlines celebrating India’s stratospheric economic growth (until recently 10 per cent, but now revised down to 8.5 per cent) the country stands on a precipice. She believes that success is being bought at a heavy price: millions of displaced people and an unfolding ecological disaster, while the Maoist guerrilla fighters are simultaneously scapegoats for state violence, but also empowered by the brutality of the government forces. Continue reading