Kishenji Fought for a Better World

Indian ‘Republic Killing Its Own Children’ – Kishenji Fought for a Better World

by Bernard D’Mello 

India’s Union Home Minister P Chidambaram, West Bengal Chief Minister (also in charge of the province’s home affairs) Mamata Banerjee, Union Home Secretary R K Singh, and the top bosses of the security forces involved in the operation have all been bent on establishing one point: that the alleged encounter in the Burishol forest in West Midnapore district, 10 km from the West Bengal-Jharkhand border, in which Mallojula Koteswara Rao, popularly known by his nom de guerre Kishenji, a member of the politburo of the Communist Party of India (Maoist) [CPI (Maoist)], was supposedly killed was “real”.  Frankly, given the complicity of the media bosses and the journalistic profession (the latter, at the higher levels) with official mendacity, we must admit that the circumstances of his death are as yet unknown.  A press statement from Abhay, spokesperson of the Central Committee of the Party, dated 25 November 2011, unambiguously states that Kishenji was killed “after capturing him alive in a well planned conspiracy”.1

The renowned radical Telugu poet Varavara Rao, who accompanied Kishenji’s niece Deepika to bring the body back to Kishenji’s hometown of Peddapalli in Karimnagar district of Andhra Pradesh, is reported to have said: “In the last 43 years, I have seen so many bodies killed in so-called encounters but have not seen a body like this one. . .  There is no place on the body where there is no injury.”2  Indeed, according to CDRO (Coordination of Democratic Rights’ Organisations) activists who saw the body before the commencement of the postmortem, “on the back side of the head, part of [the] skull [and] brain [was] missing”; the right eye had come out of the socket; the lower jaw was “missing”; there were four stab wounds on the face; knife injuries were observed on the throat; there were hand fractures and two bullet injuries under one of the arms; “one-third of the left hand index finger was removed”; there were signs of enrooted bullets through the lungs; the right knee was hacked; the foot of the left leg was “totally burnt”; in all, “there were more than 30 bayonet-like cut injuries on the front of the body”.  And, while there were “bullet, sharp cuts and burn injuries”, “surprisingly” there were “no injury marks on his [Kishenji’s] shirt and pant corresponding to [those on] his body parts”.  (The postmortem report is yet to be handed over to Kishenji’s relatives.)

A press release (“Killing the Talks and Faking an Encounter”, Kolkata, 2 December 2011) by the CDRO — based on the observations of a CDRO fact-finding team who visited the spot in Burishol forest where the alleged encounter took place on 24 November — states that “the extent of the damage caused to the body against the rather undisturbed surrounding of the spot where the body lay raises our suspicion about the official version”.  Indeed, “right next to where his [Kishenji’s] body lay on the ground is a termite hill” that “remains undamaged by all the alleged exchange of fire”.  Indeed, even nearby, “not a single termite hill was damaged and [there was] no visible sign of burn or fire due to heavy rifle and mortar firing!”  Clearly, the veracity of the official story must be seriously doubted (actually, there are now versions of it that are contradicting each other!) and it is high time that an independent judicial inquiry headed by a sitting or retired Supreme Court or High Court judge into the circumstances surrounding Kishenji’s death is constituted at the earliest. Continue reading