[The following is a press release from the COMMUNIST PARTY OF INDIA (MAOIST) CENTRAL COMMITTEE, (dated May 11, 2012): “Chidambaram has no moral right to talk about ‘kidnaps’ by Maoists while incarcerating thousands of Adivasis and agitators in jails”]
On 9-05-2012 Home Minister P. Chidambaram while replying in Rajya Sabha said – “Maoists ‘kidnapping’ young collectors, elected representatives and foreigners indicates a clear shift in the nature of the Maoist extremism and shows that Maoists are resorting to ‘terror’ tactics to bend the state government to their demands and that Maoists seek to stop development in those districts.” He reiterated his government’s resolve to continue the anti-naxal operations by following a two-pronged strategy of development and security related strategies to face this challenge.
Chidambaram was obviously referring to the recent ‘kidnaps’ of the Italian tourists and Jhina Hikaka (MLA) in Odisha and collector Alex Paul Menon in Chhattisgarh. This statement also comes in the backdrop of the centre pushing hard for the formation of the NCTC. The government wants to put each and every just struggle under the head of so-called ‘terrorism’ and suppress the movements that they are part of. With the May 5th meeting with the Chief Ministers not reaching a decisive conclusion on the formation of NCTC, P. Chidambaram even while trying every trick in his basket to form it, is fast weaving his vicious web to create opinion that would push every action taken by the people for their genuine demands into the so-called ‘terrorism’ vat and consequently makes every citizen who participates in these struggle forms a so-called ‘terrorist’.
Firstly, we want to state that these are not ‘kidnaps’ done for ransom, vendetta, personal demands or settling scores. People are ‘arresting’ them and putting the genuine long-standing collective demands of the oppressed people, particularly the Adivasis in those areas in front of the government. All the demands are pertaining to the severe excruciating state repression that has been unleashed on them, particularly for the release of thousands of Adivasis incarcerated in the jails and their leaders. 3000 Adivasis are in jails in Chhattisgarh while 6000 Adivasis are in jails in Jharkhand. Thousands more are jailed in Punjab, Uttarakhand, Bihar, Maharashtra, Odisha, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Tamilnadu, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh and other states for fighting against displacement and for Jal-Jungle-Zameen. Peasants fighting the land lords with the slogan ‘Land to the tiller’ and fighting police atrocities have been put in jails in large numbers in areas like Narayanapatna and Lalgarh. They had been implicated under false cases and denied bails in the most unjust manner. Many had been arrested in front of the jail gates after being granted bails and again put in jails after foisting more false cases on them. In fact, most of them would have been released even if they had been sentenced. Such is the callousness of the Indian state towards the Adivasis and the poor of our country and the reason for this is to pave the way for corporate loot of natural resources in the mineral rich forest areas of our country.
The sole reason for such ‘arrests’ is not any so-called ‘terrorist tendencies’ among the people or the CPI (Maoist) leading them but the Indian State. If at all it had delivered justice to the people at any point of their life, people would not have been forced to take up such struggle forms to get their demands fulfilled. A people crushed under the iron heels of the State are very rarely taking up such forms after taking up all kinds of struggle forms like dharnas, bandhs, rallies, protest marches, hunger strikes – in one word every kind of collective struggle form involving hundreds and thousands of people for days, weeks, months or even years together to get their people (ranging from juveniles to very elderly persons) released. The Indian state always answered with bullets, more arrests, more beatings, more custodial deaths, more false cases and more ‘abductions’ of these agitators. The police, paramilitary, judiciary, civil administration, bureaucracy etc that constitute the Indian State are acting like the tentacles of a giant Octopus and entangling the people and making them breathless. The struggles of political prisoners in the jails are also being crushed most brutally. The rights to which prisoners are entitled are also violated most blatantly. It is this suffocating situation inside and outside jails that is leading to arrests of government representatives by people.
With all doors closed for justice, such struggle forms are taken up to find some respite from the umpteen numbers of violations of human rights of the Adivasi people by the central and state armed forces. In a country where media corporations are in cahoots with the interests of the imperialists, MNCs and the big land lords and do not lend their voice or space to the poor people, sometimes such struggle forms are being used by the people to even bring the genuine demands of theirs to the attention of the citizens of this country. Continue reading