“Comrade Bees” swarm India paramilitary troops in Chhattisgarh

[An interesting, though sketchy, news report.  Other media reported that the injured troops “were out on ‘area domination patrol’, clearing mines.”  There was no explanation for the swarm of bee’s attack—-whether it was the result of skilled work by local beekeepers or others knowledgable in forest conditions, or if it resulted from reckless behavior of the troops themselves which disturbed the hives.  —  Frontlines ed.]
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By Salman Ravi,  BBC Hindi, Raipur, 7 May 2012
Indian troops on counter-insurgency operations against Maoist rebels

Operations against Maoist rebels have been stepped up recently

At least 19 Indian paramilitary troops were swarmed and badly stung by bees while on a counter-insurgency operation against Maoist rebels in Chhattisgarh state.

The troops were clearing landmines in the dense forests of Narayanpur district when they were attacked.

Four of the soldiers were in “a real bad state” with serious swelling on their faces and hands, police said.

The men have been admitted to a local government hospital.

The paramilitary personnel from the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) were deployed in the Farasgaon area of Bastar region.

The area contains dense forests and has been the scene of a bitter Maoist insurgency, police and local officials told the BBC.

Officials said that on Sunday afternoon a storm in the area is believed to have knocked a tree or a branch onto a bee hive while the paramilitary police were combing the area for landmines.

Insects and reptiles pose a major problem for the security forces deployed against the Maoists in the forests of Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Orissa.

According to rough estimates, malaria and insects kill as many security personnel as die in combat against Maoist rebels.

The Maoists are active in more than a third of India’s 600-odd districts. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has described them as the biggest internal security challenge facing India.

The rebels say they are fighting for the rights of indigenous tribes people and the rural poor, who they say have been neglected by governments for decades.

India has deployed tens of thousands of federal paramilitary troops and policemen to fight the rebels.

India: Sanhati Statement condemning the state’s attack on the leaderships of people’s resistances

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.

Nepal: Bhattarai to visit US, UN, India

[Sealing deals and consolidating relations with imperialism and Indian hegemonists, Bhattarai sets agenda. — Frontlines ed.]

New Nepal PM to visit India, sidestepping controversy

By Sudeshna Sarkar, Kathmandu, Sep 7 : Nepal’s new prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru University scholar Baburam Bhattarai, will visit India after attending a UN meet in New York this month, thereby sidestepping the old controversy about Nepali premiers’ first foreign trip after assuming office.

The 57-year-old architect, who took oath of office last month, Wednesday received the Indian ambassador to Nepal, Jayant Prasad, to discuss his first official visit to India after becoming Nepal’s new premier.

The nearly one and a half hour meeting, the first between the Indian envoy and Bhattarai, was also attended by the latter’s wife, senior Maoist leader and former minister Hisila Yami, who confirmed the India visit.

Yami told journalists that Bhattarai will visit New Delhi on the invitation of his Indian counterpart, Manmohan Singh, after attending the 66th UN General Assembly in New York. Continue reading

India: CPI(Maoist) exposes government ‘development’ plans as counter-insurgency against people’s resistance forces

Mass meeting of adivasis (tribal peoples) in a CPI(Maoist) base area.

Communist Party of India(Maoist) Central Committee

November 27, 2010,  Press Release

Unified Action Plan to ‘Develop’ Maoist Stronghold Districts is not Aimed to Solve Any Basic Problems of the People, But to Crush the Revolutionary Movement!

Punish Traitors Severely, Who are Involved in Scams of Billions of Rupees of Hard Earned People’s Money!!

Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, yesterday on 26th November, has approved Central Planning Commission’s Rs 137.42 billion ‘Unified Action Plan’ to ‘develop’ naxal affected areas. Two year long, Rs. 33 billion package of the first phase announced by Home Minister is to spend Rs 250 millions in each of the districts of the 9 naxal affected states in the year 2010-11 and Rs. 300 millions for each of the districts in the year 2011-12. He said cabinet committee will review it after 2 years.

These rulers claim that, by providing basic amenities in these poor tribal districts, where more than 50% of the population live below poverty line, want to achieve ‘development’ and thus aim to solve naxal ‘problem’. As per them, basic ‘amenities’ include primarily roads, later panchayat buildings, electricity, school buildings, education and health.

On the one hand, since one year these rulers, in the name of Operation Green Hunt, have deployed more than 200 thousands of paramilitary forces and massacred hundreds of tribal people, now on the other hand, in these same areas want to spend millions of rupees. Is it for the benefit of people? Or is it to further its repression on the people? It is easy to understand. While making this announcement, Home Minister P. Chidambaram insisted to spend all the money by end of the March next and show ‘development’.

Involving police department in the programme and placing district superintendents of police in these committees is nothing but an effort to put a ‘developmental’ mask to their fascist repressive measures. Is construction of roads and buildings for ‘people living below poverty line’? Or is it to facilitate state’s armed forces, which are carrying out killings at will and crushing their right to live. Any adivasi living in these areas can answer this question. Continue reading

CPI (Maoist) calls 24 hour countrywide bandh (strike) to protest Obama visit to India on Nov 8

Kisenji with reporters in Lalgarh area, West Bengal

The Hindu/PTI

Maoists today called for a 24-hour nationwide shutdown on November 8 to protest against the visit of U.S. President Barack Obama. “The Maoist Central Committee will observe a 24-hour Bharat bandh on November 8,” Maoist Central Committee member Kishenji told PTI over the phone from an undisclosed location.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress president Sonia Gandhi were out to sell the country to American imperialism and Mr Obama’s visit to the country was just another step in the process, Kishenji alleged.

The elusive Maoist leader also termed CPI(M)’s protest programmes over Mr Obama’s visit on the same date as a “drama”.  “Today’s CPI(M) [CPI-Marxist, the reactionary ruling party in West Bengal] and all other Communist parties in the country have turned into an integral part of the capitalist culture to exploit people,” he claimed.

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

Indian Maoists appeal to Army men: Don’t join Unified Command

[After the government assassination of CPI(Maoist) spokesperson Azad and independent journalist Pandey–and the assassin’s concoction of a fake “encounter” complete with guns planted on the victims bodies–was widely exposed, the pretense of government interest in a cease-fire has evaporated.  This week, PM Manmohan Singh ordered Home Minister Chidambaram to convene a national war council, and appointed a retired Major-General to lead the next onslaught of “Operation Green Hunt”–more heavily armed, and leaving all government claims of peaceful, democratic intent behind.  The Maoist response is reported, below.–ed]

P. Chidambaram and Manmoham Singh

KOLKATA, July 17, 2010

The Communist Party of India (Maoist) criticised on Friday the Centre’s decision to appoint a retired Major-General of the Army as a member of the Unified Command for anti-Maoist operations in four States and issued a veiled threat to any person of that rank against taking charge of the post at the Centre’s insistence.

In a voice-recorded press statement, Maoist Polit Bureau member Kishanji stated: “Whether retired or still in service with the Army, an Army officer will always be an Army officer, and this proves that Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram is engaging the defence forces to destroy the mass movement and kill people randomly. The decision to use increasing number of Air Force helicopters is also indicative of this fact.”

Following a meeting with the Chief Ministers and representatives of seven Maoist-affected States, Mr. Chidambaram had asked four States — Jharkhand, Orissa, Chhattisgarh and West Bengal — to set up a Unified Command with a retired Major-General of the Army as a member.

“Appealing” to the retired Major-Generals of the Army not to get engaged in “a war against their own people”, Kishanji warned that “whoever [of the retired Major-General rank] will accept the offer of joining the Unified Command will be put on the same pedestal as Mr. Chidambaram, by the common people as well as the Maoists.” Claiming that neither the common man nor even a section of the UPA favoured the use of the defence forces to fight the Maoists, he accused Mr. Chidambaram of taking the decision “at the behest of the corporate world, the World Bank and the U.S.” Continue reading

Indian PM Singh: “Bhopals Will Happen, but the Country has to Progress”

Manmoham Singh and Barack Obama

By Devinder Sharma

13 June, 2010. Ground Reality

There can be nothing more disgusting and deplorable. Only an Indian Prime Minister can make such a statement and get away. Imagine if the US President Obama had ever said this, even in the context of the recent oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the people of the US would have castigated him by now.

And this reminds me of what Mr P Chidambaram (in his earlier avtar) had said long ago during one his travels to the United States. Talking to some business heads and tycoons, Mr Chidambaram had reportedly said something like this: “The last time you came, you came for 200 years. This time, please plan to come for a longer duration.” This statement of his was quoted widely, and yet Parliament refused to be provoked enough to demand his resignation, and shun him for ever from public life.

P Chidambaram’s remarks assume importance in the light of the mandate he is being entrusted as the head of the Group of Ministers (GoM), which includes remediation measures at the site of the 1984 disaster. According to The Hindu (June 11, 2010): “Mr Chidambaram and Mr Kamal Nath, who were the Ministers of Finance and Commerce, respectively in 2006, endorsed the proposal that would get Dow — which now owns Union Carbide — off the hook with regard to remediation, or clean up of the contaminated site. Ironically, both Ministers are part of the GoM, leading some NGOs to allege that their inclusion represents a ‘conflict of interest’.” Continue reading