India: Commemorating the Life and Revolutionary Leadership of Comrade Azad (1954-2010)

https://i2.wp.com/www.bannedthought.net/India/CPI-Maoist-Docs/Cadre/Azad-photo-04.jpg“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.]

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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?

https://i1.wp.com/www.bannedthought.net/India/CPI-Maoist-Docs/Cadre/Azad-photo-01.jpgAzad: 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

India: The electoral “Marxists” in W. Bengal are slipping; what is the alternative?


The peasants have it

21 May 2011

GN Saibaba says the real alternative will come from the maoists, not the Trinamool

THE RECENT debacle of Communist Party of India (Marxist) has led to widespread speculation in the media and elsewhere that this indeed is the end of the CPI(M) in West Bengal. It is being predicted that the way they have been literally routed in the assembly poll will lead to their gradual demise. The defeat of the CPI(M) in West Bengal after its uninterrupted rule of 34 years is literally seen as the fall of the fortress. However, such a reading of the situation is misplaced.

The CPI(M) is like any other ruling class party in this country. These parties come and go in central and state legislative bodies and Parliament and take their turns in pursuing anti-people policies. They never provide an alternative to their immediate predecessor, but simply capitalise on the growing grievances of the people against the existing government. The performance of the DMK, the ruling party in Tamil Nadu, is a good example. Yet the media is not talking about the end of the DMK, despite their abysmal performance. The reason for this is the turns the AIDMK and the DMK take in routing each other in successive elections and in exploiting people in a similar manner. Continue reading

Maoism, Azad and Binayak Sen a hit at Kolkata Book Fair

http://icawpi.org/en/india-news/725-maoism-azad-and-binayak-sen-a-hit-at-kolkata-book-fair

2011-02-06
Kolkata: A slew of pro-ultra publications, on killed Maoist ideologue Azad and jailed activist Binayak Sen, sold like hot cakes in the two-week long Kolkata Book Fair that concluded on Sunday.

Activists brought out booklets containing the writings of Azad alias Cherukuri Rajkumar, about jailed paediatrician-cum-rights activist Binayak Sen, and in support of the Maoist movement in the fair held at the Milan Mela ground. Continue reading

India: 29 organizations in West Bengal organize to oppose Operation Green Hunt

Villagers murdered in cold blood by Special Police Officers during the Indian army-directed Salwa Judum (Purification Hunt), the direct precursor of Operation Green Hunt. Salwa Judum's "scorched earth" methods burned down more than 600 Chattisgarh villages that were accused of supporting the Maoists

Twenty nine organizations and many individuals in West Bengal have formed a citizens’ campaign against Operation Green Hunt. “Operation Green Hunt–Virodhi Nagarik Andolan” to  raise the popular voice against the war being waged by the Indian state against people and the rampant violation of democratic and human rights, in order to facilitate to taking over  of natural resources by corporate interests.

The Operation Green Hunt-Virodhi Nagarik Andolan plans to conduct a sustained campaign against all aspects of Operation Green Hunt and expose the larger economic designs behind it to the general public. As the first among the series of campaign actions, a daylong public cultural protest action, “The Voice of My Protest” is planned in the heart of Kolkata on 18th December, 2010, from 10 am onwards.

Cultural activists  from all over Bengal and beyond will participate in this programme to express their protests against state repression and the corporate looting of resources in the name of Operation Green Hunt.

 

Continue reading

India: Women’s social and economic conditions, struggles for land and women’s resistance

Armed with traditional weapons, adivasi (tribal) women march in Lalgarh, West Bengal

 

From International Campaign against the War on People in India  www.icawpi.org

Contemporary Anti-Displacement Struggles and Women’s Resistance

By Shoma Sen, Associate Professor, RTM Nagpur University

Women’s exclusion in the present model of development needs to be understood as inherent to a system that benefits from patriarchy. Seen as a reserve force of labour, women, excluded from economic activity are valued for their unrecognized role in social reproduction. The capitalist, patriarchal system that keeps the majority of women confined to domestic work and child rearing uses this as a way of keeping the wage rates low.

The limited participation of women in economic activity is also an extension of their traditional gender roles (nursing, teaching,or labour intensive jobs requiring patience and delicate skills) with wages based on gender discrimination. Largely part of the unorganized sector, deprived of the benefits of labour legislation, insecurity leads to sexual exploitation at the workplace. In the paradigm of globalization, these forms of exploitation, in export oriented industries, SEZs and service sector have greatly increased.

In spite of 63 years of so-called independence, women’s presence is negligible in political bodies and reservations for the same have been strongly resisted in a patriarchal political system. Though at the lower levels, reservations have made a limited entry possible, the success stories are more exceptions than the rule. Social institutions, thriving on feudal patriarchal notions are disapproving of women’s participation in production and laud her reproductive roles; violence against women at the familial and societal level is given social sanction and women are confined to a dependent life within the domestic space.

Therefore, women’s access to economic and political activity itself is a first step to their participation in decision making processes rather than the symbolic steps towards their “empowerment” that are seen in this system. Women’s resistance to this imperialist backed model of development, therefore, must be seen as their attempt to find space and voice in a system which has not only neglected their communities but even their gender within it. Continue reading

India: “Dispossess them first and then hunt them down as criminals”

Adivasi women protest government repression in Lalgarh, West Bengal

Indian State’s policy towards the Indigenous Adivasi People

by Stan Swamy, November 9, 2010

Dispossess them first . . .

Displacement is painful for anybody. To leave the place where one was born and brought up, the house that one built up with one’s own labour can be even more painful. Most of all, when no rehabilitation has been worked out and one has nowhere to go, it is most painful. And when it comes to the Adivasi People for whom their land is not just an economic commodity but a source of spiritual sustenance, it can be heart-rending.

Displacement in Jharkhand

Undoubtedly the most pressing problem facing the poor, rural and tribal population in Jharkhand is the constant threat of their displacement from their ancestral habitat. This displacement is being justified by the politicians, bureaucrats and the urbanites, (totaling only 23% of the population of Jharkhand), as necessary for the progress(?) and development(?) of this State. The progress and development is for whom and for whose benefit is a matter that is often left unsaid.

The figures for displacement resulting in misery for the majority of Jharkhandis are quite revealing – a population of about 17 lakhs [1.7 million] have been displaced so far, out of which almost 85% are tribals and locals and only about 25% have been halfway and half-heartedly resettled. The above figure points out  only the formally displaced for various projects and not the informally displaced. Continue reading

Struggle of sharecroppers in West Bengal expose tall claims of land reform

Shramik Shakti, April 2010. Translated by Koel Das, Sanhati

For a long time, we have been hearing tall claims about land reforms in West Bengal. The law was passed back when Siddartha Shankar Ray was the Chief Minister. After the Left Front came to power in 1977, the sharecropper law had also been amended a few times. But the recent struggles of villagers of Sujapur in Murshidabad is evidence to the fact that real land reform does not happen by just passing the law.

Sujapur is a village in Murshidabad and almost all of its inhabitants are sharecroppers or farmers. Most of the villagers belong to the fisherman community. The land in the village is wetlands (land J L no:129). These lands cannot be cultivated if there is excess rainfall. Most people earn their living by fishing in these wetlands. When the rainfall is less, Boro rice is cultivated here. There are about 2000 Bighas of wetlands.

For about ten generations, the villagers have either been farming or fishing in this place. 150 bigha of the wetlands were declared barga land which resulted in landless sharecroppers getting patta. Poor villagers had purchased some of these lands from the landlords. Villagers knew that the land belonged to the members of Ray family or the Trivedi family like Abhaypada Ray, Shibendramohan, Shubendumohan Trivedi, Jagannath Trivedi and others.

None of these landlords stay in Sujapur; they do not know definitively which land belongs to whom. But the village sharecroppers regularly give them a portion of the produce year after year. They have requested the landlords repeatedly to sell the lands to them. Although the landlords took cash advance from them, they never registered the land. They just showed the land map but never specified the plot of land and could not even produce a legal document for the landownership. Continue reading

India: Ensuring the right to education in the ‘Adivasi Corridor’

 

Adivasi students in West Bengal protest army occupation of schools

Gladson Dungdung (Guest Contributor, Sanhati)

 

The Indian Government and the Indian Media are repeatedly telling us that a ninety-two thousand square kilometres geographical area covering 170 districts in 9 states of India is out of control of the Indian State. The vicinity is full of the natural resources including a variety of minerals, forests and water sources. The territory is ruled by the Maoists therefore the Government has branded it as the ‘Red Corridor’.

Actually, the area is highly Adivasi dominated and therefore should be called the ‘Adivasi Corridor’. And of course, it is their homeland. The Indian State has been carrying on a major offensive in the Red Corridor since October 2009 to clear the land. In the latest development, the British Company “Execution Nobel limited” has estimated a business of $80 billion if the area is liberated from the Maoists. Consequently, the government is determined to cleanse the Maoists by 2013 by taking all required steps.

Meanwhile, on 1 April, 2010 (the day is observed as a “Fools Day” and many attempt to fool others), the Prime Minister of India, Dr. Manmohan Singh appeared on the television channels addressing the Nation on the occasion of enforcing the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act 2009 and declared the day as a historic day for Indians. Perhaps, hardly anyone from the Red Corridor saw him in the television channels, as survival and protection are the biggest questions for them rather than hearing about their rights to education coming out of the auspicious mouth of the Prime Minister. Continue reading

Maoists expand political and military operations in West Bengal

 

Maoist road blockade in Lalgarh area of West Bengal. Naxals spread wings, more Bengal districts want LWE-affected status

 

[In one district after another, as government forces find themselves unable to suppress popular resistance, including village militias and Maoist units, they appeal to be classified as an “LWE – affected” (left-wing-extemist-affected) area, to obtain more police funding and materials.–ed.]

Express News Service, October 15, 2010

Kolkata: The Left Front may be claiming success in the anti-Maoist operations in Junglemahal but an internal government report indicates that the ultras who till now had been confined to Junglemahal — Purulia, West Midnapore and South 24 Parganas — have spread to other nearby districts.

The police and local administrations of Birbhum, Nadia and Murshidabad districts have submitted a report to the state home department requesting that some police stations in their districts should be brought under the ambit of Left Wing Extremism-affected area considering the increased activities of the Maoists there.

According to the reports submitted by the state police to state home department, eight police stations in Nadia, six police stations in Birbhum and three police stations in Murshidabad have seen increased Maoist activities in recent months. Continue reading

Lalgarh, India: People’s Committee against Police Atrocities Calls for 48 Hour Bandh

United News of India,  October 17, 2010

PCPA Bandh Hits Life

Jhargram, Sept. 27 — PCPA activists raised blockade on State Highway nine at six places between Lodhasuli and Jhargram on the second day today of their 48-hour bandh in the Junglemahal areas.  Official sources said the activists blocked the highway by felling trees. These were removed by the security forces in the morning.

The bandh paralysed life in the Junglemahal areas of West Midnapore, Purulia and Bankura districts for the second consecutive day.  The People’s Committee Against Police Atrocities (PCPA) was protesting alleged atrocities against innocent villagers by the combined forces.

Roads wore a deserted looks, while shops and business establishments kept their shutter down. Educational institutions remained shut and attendence in government offices was thin.  Despite the threat by the PCPA that they would target railways, train services were normal.

SDO Jhargram C Murugan said, ”Life has been paralysed in West Midnapore, Purulia and Bankura districts. No untoward incident, however, has been reported so far.”

Incidentally, a Maoist and a CRPF jawan lost their lives in an encounter on Saturday.

West Bengal: Maoists teaching lessons, recruiting in schools

 

Students protest police occupation of West Bengal schools.

 

Express India, October 16, 2010

Maoists Bring Red Practical and Theory to Schools

Kolkata: To influence the young minds, Maoists have started teaching lessons on Maoism in government schools that are located in the remote areas of Junglemahal. In last week of September, the headmaster of Bagmundi Higher Secondary School in Purulia had received a letter from the Maoists asking him to send all the students of classes X, XI and XII to a training camp in the area.

Nibaran Chandra Mahato then showed the letter to the members of the school committee who decided not to disobey the Maoist diktat and allowed the students of class XI to take part in the training, said a senior police officer.

“We have information that a Maoist came and taught lessons on Maoism to more than 300 students in the school,” said the officer. With reports about more and more schools becoming centres of Maoist indoctrination classes, the administration in the three LWE-affected districts — West Midnapore, Purulia and Bankura — are grappling over how to tackle the serious problem.

“Our team have gone to Bagmundi and spoke with the management of the school. We are investigating the matter,” said Rajesh Yadav, SP of Purulia. Bagmundi lies in the vicinity of Ayodhya hills, an area where the Maoists have been gaining strength. Reports from state and central intelligence agencies indicate that most of the training camps run by Maoists are located in Bagmundi and Narayanpur police station areas. These include Batdanga, Asanboni, Kumardanga, Barodanga, Dumuria, Choto Rajera, Simulbera, Dhadka, Chingora and Kalabera. Continue reading

Maoists appeal to Naga troops to defy orders in West Bengal

Nagaland Indian Reserve Battalion in transit

Hindustan Times, September 29, 2010

A top Maoist leader on Wednesday appealed to Naga troopers of the Indian Reserve Battalion [from the northeast state of Nagaland] to defy orders and not take part in the ongoing security operations against the ultra left rebels in West Bengal’s Junglemahal region.

In an open letter to troopers of the Nagaland Indian Reserve Battalion – who are on duty in the mountainous terrain of Purulia district to fight the ultras, Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) politburo member Kisanji asked them to “revolt against the orders to battle against the people, desist from pumping bullets into the bodies of your brothers and sisters and defy all orders to dispatch you from one place to another at the diktat and whims of superiors to kill people and get killed”.

“The government considers you as ambush expert Nagas who can easily kill and get killed in the battle zone of the Ayodhya Hills of Purulia district,” Kisanji observed.

Two companies of NIRB troopers were deployed in the Ayodhya Hills of Purulia district recently to flush out the ultra left rebels from the area as part of the anti-Maoists operations launched June 2009 in Junglemahal (forested Maoist-affected areas of West Midnapore, Purulia and Bankura).


CPI(Maoist) calls bandh in six states to protest Indian repression in Kashmir

[Wikipedia:  “Bandh (Hindi:  बंद), originally a Hindi word meaning ‘closed’, is a form of protest used by political activists in some countries like India and Nepal. During a Bandh, a political party or a community declares a general strike.  Often Bandh means that the community or political party declaring a Bandh expect the general public to stay in their homes and strike work. The main affected are shopkeepers who are expected to keep their shops closed and the public transport operators of buses and cabs are supposed to stay off the road and not carry any passengers. There have been instances of large metro cities coming to a standstill. Bandhs are powerful means for civil disobedience. Because of the huge impact that a Bandh has on the local community, it is much feared as a tool of protest.“]

Maoists support Kashmiris, call strike

Times of India,  September 27, 2010

NEW DELHI: In an attempt to show solidarity with protesting Kashmiris who have been demanding “azadi” and attacking security forces, Maoists have called for a 24-hour bandh in six states on September 30.

In a statement dated September 23, the CPI (Maoist) said September 30 will be observed as a bandh in six states — Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh and Orissa — and also in Gadchiroli, Gondia and Chandrapur districts of Maharashtra and Balaghat in Madhya Pradesh in protest “against the killing of Kashmiri youth by security forces since June 11”.

The statement was issued by Abhay, spokesperson of the central committee, and Anand, central regional bureau spokesperson. The party said there would be a “closedown of all rail and road traffic, banks, government and private offices, industries, educational institutions and business establishments”. “We are excluding essential services like hospitals and other services from this bandh call,” the statement said.

The statement justified the stone-pelting in Kashmir and called it democratic. It has been a Maoist strategy to join forces with all manner of protests, particularly if they are directed against the state.

In their attempt to gain support from Kashmiris, the party demanded “immediate end to massacres by Indian armed forces in Kashmir, withdrawal of military and paramilitary forces, repeal of AFSPA, plebiscite for Kashmiris and release of all political prisoners”. Continue reading

“A Song for Azad” by Kabir Suman

September 10, 2010

Kabir Suman, popularly known as the Bob Dylan of West Bengal, has been one of the strongest voices against the Indian government’s crackdown on anyone who speaks up. If poverty and malnutrition disturbs you, and you voice your discontent loudly, the govt. terms you a Maoist. Speak up against the millions of tribals whose houses are burnt or women are gangraped – because those tribals wouldn’t let the corporates grab their only possession, their land – then the govt. calls you a Maoist.

And so was Maoist leader Azad killed. In this video, Kabir Suman sings out the irony of lies floated by the govt., with regards to Azad’s “encounter” death. Really, how many more encounters will it take before we realise what a farce democracy, what a rotten government, and most importantly, what a silent voyeuristic populace we are?

Please download the song before it is deleted from this site by a paranoid govt. This home-made video is not of the best quality, but those of you who would want a better quality audio (mp3 format) of this song, write to me at aa.priyanka@gmail.com

West Bengal: Stories of Unjust Arrests under Unlawful Activities Prevention Act

Chharadhar Mahato, leader of People's Committee against Police Atrocities in Lalgarh, arrested under UAPA

Satyarupa Jana: Prize Catch under UAPA

by Nisha Biswas

Indian Vanguard,  September 25, 2010

On July 9, 2009 Buddhadeb Bhattacharya, the Chief Minister of West Bengal assured his colleagues in State Assembly that the government would see that Unlawful Activity Prevention Act (UAPA) is not misused.

He also informed the assembly that from the day of banning of Communist Party of India (Maoist) by the Centre and the imposition of UAPA in West Bengal (June 22, 2009) till that date, only 39 persons have been arrested by invoking this Act, out of which thirty were from West Midnapore, five from Bankura and four from Purulia. However, as his habit is, he did forget (intentionally?) to mention the first arrest of Gour Chakroborty, spokesperson of CPI(Maoist) on the day the Maoist party was banned by the Government of India, without giving him a chance to clarify his stand.

The exact number of persons arrested so far under this Act is not known but the estimate is that it is not less than a couple of hundreds. However, an RTI inquiry by APDR reveals that, till March 2010, only 30 persons have been arrested from West Midnapore under UAPA. The list begins with unbanned CPI(Maoist) party Spokesperson Gaur Chakroborty, activists Raja Sorkhel, Prasun Chatterjee, Bangla People’s March editor Swapan Dasgupta (who died in custody), PCPA spokesperson Chhtaradhar Mahato, treasurer Sukhashanti Baskey, and other high profile persons, including activists of democratic movement to people like Satyarupa Jana of Pankhai, Khejuri of East Medinipur.

Satyarupa belongs to the region, which happened to be the ruling party stronghold during Nandigram protest. She is such a politically naïve person that she never bothered to find out what is happening on the other side of Taikhali Bridge. Even today, she is at loss in explaining why so many from Nandigram were murdered. Her life of 48 years has been a struggle to make both ends meet – she has tried to educate her three sons and is proud of the fact that they are doing well and that one of her daughter-in-law is a para-teacher and the other one is doing her graduation. Hers is a normal conventional life of a little ambitious and industrious person who has taken risks and has almost never missed any opportunity of an extra earning. Satyarupa says that she did hear gun shots and the noise of bomb hurling, but has always tried to keep her family and self away from all these political chaos. Continue reading