[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
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
December 4, 2011
by Sanhati Collective
We strongly condemn the Indian government’s attempts to suppress the various peoples’ movements across the country against the exploitation, oppression and state-sponsored corporate plunder, by attempting to decapitate their leaderships. This seems to be the preferred policy, after having failed to throttle these movements by letting loose repression on the people.
On November 24, Koteswara Rao, alias Kishenji, one of the senior-most politburo members of the Communist Party of India (Maoist), which is involved in an armed resistance movement across India, especially in the adivasi (indigeneous people)-populated forested regions, has been killed by security forces in the state of West Benga in what is increasingly evident as a fake encounter. Such extrajudicial killings to liquidate the top leadership of the Maoist movement seem to be the preferred solution of the government to neutralize this “threat”. The Home Minister, P. Chidambaram, has clearly stated that specific targeting of the Maoists’ leadership is the main task for tackling this insurgency, which has been repeatedly described by the Prime Minister of India, Manmohan Singh (the architect of the neoliberal reforms which have devastated the Indian poor over the last two decades) as the “biggest internal security threat” to the Indian state. That this is in direct contravention of clear directives laid down by the National Human Rights Commission and judgements by various state high courts and the Supreme Court, seems to be of no consequence to this government which hypocritically empahsizes about the “rule of law”. Such extrajudicial killings, which have become the routine practice of the Indian state in countering resistances, are also in violation of the1949 Geneva conventions relating to armed conflict to which India is a signatory. It is even more reprehensible that the murder of Kishenji was committed while his party was trying to initiate talks with the West Bengal state administration via government-appointed interlocutors and had in fact earlier offered a period of cease-fire which the state failed to respond to. The deceptive nature of the state is borne out by the fact the West Bengal chief minister had been publicly maintaining that no operations of the joint forces were being conducted and was urging the interlocutors to proceed with the negotiations. This incident reminds us of the killing of Azad, the spokesperson of the CPI(Maoist), by the Andhra Pradesh police last year when he was similarly trying to initiate talks with the central government. These killings are therefore indicative of the fact that the state apparatus floats the possibility of such negotiations as a counterinsurgency measure in order to track and liquidate the leadership.
The armed resistance movements are not the only ones in the line of fire of the central and various state governments. Just as the news of the killing of the CPI(Maoist) leader was coming in, the Orissa police suddenly arrested Abhay Sahoo, the leader of the POSCO Pratirodh Sangram Samiti (PPSS), during the evening of 25th November. For the last six years, the PPSS has been leading the peaceful resistance of the villagers in coastal Orissa against the proposed multi-billion dollar steel plant of the Korean multinational POSCO. This project has received clearance from the Environment Ministry in a grossly illegal manner, in direct violation of the Forest Rights Act and the Environmental Impact Assessment notification, despite two of the Ministry’s own inquiry committees’ recommendations that the granting of such a clearance would be a crime. While the matter is still being heard in court, and the people of the villages are bravely resisting the attempts of the government to forcibly occupy their lands, this arrest of the PPSS leader is a direct attempt by the state to break down the movement by robbing it of its leadership, as a precursor to unleashing the state forces on the villagers in an attempt to deprive them of their lives and livelihoods.
The killing of Kishenji and the arrest of Abhay Sahoo makes it evident that the Indian state is finding it increasingly difficult to suppress the spectrum of resistance that has developed against its neoliberal policies, with the multinational corporations becoming increasingly impatient in their wait for the promised lands and resources. Therefore it has adopted the policy of annihilating the leadership of these movements by killing or imprisoning the leaders. It is of no consequence whether the movements are armed or unarmed; it appears that the Indian state’s only response to them is repression and more repression. What the rulers of India, and the corporate interests they serve, do not realize is that this would just make the struggling people of India more resolved in their resistance and could also result in increased violence across the country.
We demand that the government immediately stop its ill-advised moves to annihilate or imprison the leaders of the peoples’ struggles that are going on in India, as a part of its security operations to crush these movements that are based on the peoples’ genuine aspirations toward a better life and for protecting their lives and livelihoods. We demand the immediate release of Abhay Sahoo, and the withdrawal of the trumped up charges against him. We also demand that the countrywide operations of the security forces going on in the name of Operation Green Hunt be immediately stopped as this is bringing untold misery to the lives of the most deprived and marginalized sections of the Indian population.
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
Express News Service, October 23, 2010
KOZHIKODE: In an attempt to dispel the notion that the Maoists are just a bunch of trigger-happy terrorists, who thrive on the poverty and ignorance of tribal people in the country, Maoist sympathisers have brought out a book that throws light on the other side of the story.
‘Maoists in India’ is the anthology of the writings of Cherukuri Rajkumar alias Azad, who was killed by the police in Adilabad in Andhra Pradesh on July 2, 2010. The politburo member of the CPI (Maoist) was deputed by his organisation to hold peace talks with the Centre.
It is widely believed that police killed Azad after picking him up from Nagpur and he was not killed in an encounter as claimed by the security agencies. An alumni of Regional Engineering College, Warrangal, Azad was instrumental in evolving the strategies of the Maoists besides giving a powerful articulation to their views. ”Azad was an intellectual who devoted his life for the movement.
There is a perception that Maoism is nothing but guns and violence, but this book will prove that Maoists do devote their time and energy to study and analyse the situation in the country,’’ P Varavara Rao, poet and Maoist sympathiser, told Express. Continue reading
http://www.bannedthought.net/India/CPI-Maoist-Docs/Azad_Book.pdf (1.2 MB)–ed.]
We, the friends of Cherukuri Rajkumar (Azad), present this bouquet of his writings and interviews collected from popular newspapers and websites, to all those who are interested to know the ideas of the Maoist politics in India in general and Azad’s articulation of the politics in particular. Azad has been our friend for more than thirty years and as much time, two thirds of his short life of 56 years, he spent developing, exploring, elucidating and debating these ideas. Continue reading
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 email@example.com
[“Fake encounters” have become a famous Indian government/army/police method of eliminating opposition leaders and activists, by staging the appearance of a gunfight–planting a weapon on the body of an assassinated victim. This has been the method of elimination so many times that there is widespread suspicion of government claims of encounters when the only casualties are non-governmental and non-military. The reference in the following article to Sohrabuddin Sheikh is to a notorious case (from 2005) of another victim of government assassination. This article spells out the detailed investigation of the 2 July 2010 murder of Azad, the spokesperson of the Communist Party of India (Maoist).-ed]
Dead men tell no tales. But when the deceased is Chemkuri Azad Rajkumar, the manner of death can speak volumes. The Maoist leader’s post-mortem report, which Outlook has now accessed, categorically establishes that he died in a fake encounter. Read along with the FIR and inquest reports, it exposes the elaborate set of lies drawn by the Andhra Pradesh police to explain his death. The claimed encounter, a much-touted “gain” in the UPA government’s war against India’s “gravest internal security threat”, was in fact a cold-blooded execution by the state. Azad, a key player in the planned negotiations with the government, was picked up and shot with a handgun from a distance barely more than the size of an outstretched palm. The official version, that the Maoists were atop a hill and fired at the police party and Azad died when the cops retaliated from down below, just doesn’t add up. Continue reading
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.
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
We are deeply shocked at the news of murder of comrade Azad along with com. Hem Pandey by the Indian expansionist state. We express our anger and hatred against this monster that is not only killing Indian revolutionaries and masses but also Bangladeshi people in the border.
They must be punished for their crime!
Indian Maoists are our big inspiration who stood up in resistance when leaders of the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) surrendered to imperialism.
Indian regime is that coward who tells lies and make false stories to hide their crime. So do their Bangladeshi junior partner. They don’t have the courage to say the truth.
Comrade Azad is a glorious son of India. We express our best sympathy to the Communist Party of India (Maoist) and the families of martyred comrades. Continue reading
On the Occasion of Martyrdom of Comrade Azad: Expressing solidarity with the Communist Party of India (Maoist)
Comrade Azad, spokesperson for Communist Party of India (Maoist), was murdered on July 1st 2010. Let us honour his memory and continue on his path!
Comrade Azad was a member of central committee and also a member of the politbureau of the Communist Party of India (Maoist). His death is a big loss for the CPI (Maoist), the Indian revolution, the revolutions of the region, and also the global revolution. He would have played a very critical and decisive role at the current juncture: at a time when the reactionary Indian state on one hand has mobilized more than 250,000 police and mercenary forces against the Maoist peoples war within the framework of a large military campaign called Operation Green Hunt, and on the other hand it is espousing a deceptive propaganda about “peace talks” and “ceasefire.”
His murder at the hands of Andra Pardesh’s special forces, and that even in another state, which is even illegal under the laws of the Indian state, illustrates the fact that the reactionary state is using the false propaganda around “ceasefire” and “peace talks” as a façade for hiding its anti-people brutal repression and for this purpose they would even break their own laws.
The resistance of the masses under the leadership of CPI (Maoist) against “Operation Green Hunt” that spreads across twenty states out of 28 Indian states is a resistance against the comprador policies of the reactionary Indian state which is making possible the vast plunder and pillage of the natural resources of India by multinational corporations. In the process of the ongoing resistance, which continuously expands and spreads, the masses of people are selflessly giving sacrifices and also give tough blows to the vicious and repressive forces of the reactionary state. The officials of the reactionary Indian state and at its helm the Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, since the last few years is continuously declaring that the Maoist peoples war is the biggest threat to the Indian state.
The armed struggle and the current peoples war in India that is being led by CPI (Maoist) is the continuation of the Naxalite uprising that began a few decades ago in that country. Now this revolutionary war has spread across the vast and populous country and directly affects the lives of hundreds of millions of Indian masses, the martyrdom of comrade Azad, as one of the central and top leaders of the movement is considered an important success for the reactionary and atrocious Indian armed forces. But, among the hundreds of millions of the revolutionary Indian masses, there are many more ‘Azads’ and many other ‘Azads’ will join the battle. The people’s war in India can and should successfully overcome this loss and continue ahead until the total victory of the revolution.
Communist (Maoist) Party of Afghanistan, on the path of struggle for starting the peoples war in Afghanistan, whose specific character at the current juncture is the people’s revolutionary national war of resistance against the imperialist occupiers and their puppet regime, will commemorate comrade Azad and expresses its solidarity with CPI (Maoist) and the peoples war in that country on the occasion of this loss.
Communist (Maoist) Party of Afghanistan
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
Public Meeting–Concerned Citizens & Forum Against War on People
Protest against the Killing of Azad, Spokesperson of CPI (Maoist) and Journalist Hem Chandra Pandey
CONSTITUTE JUDICIAL INQUIRY INTO THEIR KILLINGS IMMEDIATELY
Speakers: Agnivesh, Amit Bhaduri, Arundhati Roy, Ashish Gupta/ PUDR, B D Sharma, G Haragopal, G N Saibaba, Jagmohan, Manoranjan Mohanty, Mehar Engineer, Mrigank, PC Tiwari, Rajender Sachar/ Pushkar Raj/ PUCL, Rajkishore, RDF, SAR Geelani, Satnam, Sujato Bhadro, Neelabh, Pankaj Bisht, Sumit Chakravartty, Varavara Rao, And Others
Azad, the spokesperson of the Central Committee of CPI (Maoist) along with a freelance journalist, Hemant Pandey from Delhi was murdered in cold blood in the early hours of 2 July 2010. The circumstantial evidence clearly shows that both were caught in Nagpur by Central and Andhra Pradesh intelligence agencies in a joint operation and killed in custody. Later their bodies were thrown in the Sarkapalli forest in Adilabad district of Andhra Pradesh by the police to cook up a story of an ‘armed encounter’.
According to the CPI (Maoist) sources, Azad, their spokesperson was caught by the intelligence agencies in Nagpur around 10 am on 1 July 2010. As per the family members of Hem Chandra Pandey, he left for Nagpur in the evening of 30 June 2010 to meet with his professional responsibilities as a journalist and hence thereafter remained incommunicado since the morning of 1st July.
On the morning of 2nd July, the Andhra Pradesh police cited the case of an armed encounter in the wee hours in the thick jungles of Adilabad district wherein two persons were killed. One of the deceased was identified as Azad alias Cherukuri Rajkumar while the other was declared unidentified. Continue reading
(Statement to be endorsed by Organisations and Individuals)
On July 1, 2010 the special police branch of the Indian state assassinated in cold blood, Azad, (Cherukuri Rajkumar) the spokesperson of the Communist Party of India (Maoist) having earlier forcefully abducted him and Hem Chandra Pandey, a freelance journalist accompanying him. Both were tortured and executed and their bodies dropped and left in a distant forest. Yet the state and the media at its disposal claim that the two were killed in an “armed encounter”.
The assassination of Azad is a continuation of state terror and war on the people of India. This act exposes the disinformation campaign surrounding the state’s “ceasefire” proposal, which is nothing but a deception by the Government of India. It puts a spotlight on the real intentions of the regime in launching “Operation Green Hunt” which has turned the whole of India into a war zone and hurled the unrestrained brutality of 250,000 paramilitary and police forces against the people, in its attempts to auction off the natural resources of the country.
Those in power in India know full well that the brutal abduction and killing of Azad and other popular leaders of the resistance will deter neither the tribal people nor his party the CPI (Maoist) nor any who oppose the “Operation Green Hunt.” This is an act of desperation of a system in deep crisis that seeks to extract maximum profits through unbridled exploitation. The Indian state does not and will not hesitate spilling the blood and extending terror against the majority of the people, in order to plunder every inch of the country for profits of the multinational corporations. Continue reading
This is the final published essay by Cherukuri Rajkumar, known as Comrade Azar, spokesperson of the CPI (Maoists), who was assassinated by Indian Special Intelligence Bureau forces on July 2, 2010. It was published in Outlook Magazine, Sunday, July 11, 2010.
by Cherukuri Rajkumar (Azad)
Reading B.G. Verghese’s article Daylight at the Thousand-Star Hotel in Outlook (May 3), one is stunned by the abysmal poverty of thought and colonial mindset of this renowned intellectual. How is it that the illiterate, seemingly uncivilised, backward, half-naked adivasi thinks, analyses and acts a lot better than an established, well-read, highly qualified intellectual like Verghese?
The history of freedom in our country presents innumerable such contrasts: of the highly educated white man, with his vast, in-depth knowledge of the world and the natural and social sciences, glorifying the British raj as a regime with a civilising mission; and the half-naked, illiterate Indian who craved for freedom and independence. To justify the oppression of their subjects in the colonies, the “educated” colonial intellectuals invented phrases such as “white man’s burden”, “civilising mission” et al. The freedom fighter, however, was not impressed by the ‘development’ the British colonialists brought to India through their railways, roads, communication networks, plantations, mines etc.
Verghese is a typical example of the self-proclaimed civilisers of modern-day India, akin to the white ‘civilisers’ of yesteryear, who would have been the pride of a Rudyard Kipling. He reveals this colonial mindset by vehemently arguing in favour of the civilising mission of the corporate sharks and the Indian State to transform the poor, backward adivasis from savages into civilised people through a ‘development’ that destroys people’s economy, social life, culture and all human values. Ironically, ignoramuses like him imagine that adivasis are the casualties of non-development. Continue reading