The theatrical trailer of COURT, a winner of 17 International awards An Indian reviewer said the film is a “remarkably assured, engrossing study of the power of the law and order machinery to crush protest through delays, deferred hearings and demands for further evidence.” Forbes magazine in India said Chaitanya Tamhane, the director, is “Indian cinema’s new voice of subversion.”
Synopsis:A sewerage worker’s dead body is found inside a manhole in Mumbai. An ageing folk singer is tried in court on charges of abetment of suicide. He is accused of performing an inflammatory song which might have incited the worker to commit the act. As the trial unfolds, the personal lives of the lawyers and the judge involved in the case are observed outside the court.
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A Law Less Majestic
Sanctioned by an archaic law and other draconian legislation, “sedition against the state” is a handy tool to fell voices of dissent
SEDITION — Section 124A, Indian Penal Code, 1860: “Whoever, by words, either spoken or written, or by signs, or by visible representation, or otherwise, brings or attempts to bring into hatred or contempt, or excites or attempts to excite disaffection towards the government established by law in India.” Punishment: Fine, or imprisonment of three years to life. Shall be punished with 104 (imprisonment for life), to which fine may be added, or with imprisonment which may extend to three years, to which fine may be added, or with fine. Exception: Criticism, to be determined by the judiciary
UAPA —Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, 1967:Following a constitutional amendment, UAPA was enacted to “impose, by law, reasonable restrictions in the interests of the sovereignty and integrity of India, on the (i) freedom of speech and expression (ii) right to assemble peaceably and without arms and (iii) right to form associations or unions”
Punishment: Penalties ranging from five years to life imprisonment along with fines. If the offence leads to loss of life, a death sentence can be awarded. Unlawful associations: Secessionist and terrorist associations; to be determined and notified by ministry of home affairs
Behind every man who has been labelled ‘seditious’ by the State is a law that goes back 155 years. Section 124A of the Indian Penal Code dates to 1860, three years after the British were rattled by what came to be known as the Sepoy Mutiny. There is also the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, a handy tool to silence ‘dangerous’ people with ‘dangerous’ ideas. Why, a week before it was held unconstitutional, Samajwadi Party leader and UP cabinet minister Azam Khan used Section 66A of the Information Technology Act to penalise a Class 11 student in Rampur, Uttar Pradesh.
The police are arbitrary and indiscriminate in the use of the sedition law, arresting people even for activities like singing, acting in street plays, reciting poems, painting graffiti on walls, not standing up during the national anthem or for cheering the Pakistani cricket team. These have, of course, usually accompanied the more serious charges of sympathising, funding or acting with Maoists or suspected terror organisations.
[DNA, an Indian financial paper which diligently gives voice to police disinformation campaigns, now reports that sneaky Maoists have attacked a tourist resort and left grafitti against Barack Obama. And they report, the police are busy tracking them down. — Frontlines ed.]
Maoists in Kerala write slogans against Obama visit
dnaindia, Sunday, 25 January 2015
Suspected Maoists attacked a state-run tourist resort in Wayanad in north Kerala on Sunday and escaped into forests after vandalising the premises and writing slogans against US President Barack Obama’s visit to the country.
The six-member group carrying fire arms and wearing masks barged into the Kerala Tourism Development Corporation’s resort located in the forests and damaged computer and glass panes at the reception in the wee hours, District Police Superintendent P Vimaladitya said. They also wrote slogans against Obama on the walls of the resort, he said.
As per the information provided by the security guard at the resort, the gang entered the building around 3 AM, shouted slogans condemning the policies of the Central and State governments, littered the premises with Maoists literature before vandalising the reception and fleeing into the forests. They had raised slogans condemning the government policy of promoting tourism “trampling” over the rights of tribals and marginalised sections over traditional means of livelyhood. The gang, however, did not harm two groups of tourists who were staying in the resort, Vimaladitya said.
The posters and Maoist literature thrown around the premises carried the name of CPI(Maoists) Western Ghats Regional Committee. Police have launched a search for the group who had ran into deep forests of the area located on Kerala-Karnataka borders.
This was the latest in a series of attacks carried out by suspected Maoists in different parts of Kerala since last year, especially on the slopes of the Western Ghats.
Earlier this month, a group attacked a private stone-crusher unit in Kannur district. These attacks came at a time when the Kerala government had stepped up security following intelligence reports that Moists had sneaked into forest-fringe tribal settlements in the hill areas of Kerala, close to Karnataka and Tamil Nadu borders.
Chaibasa jail has a capacity of 321 prisoners, but currently holds 980, including 30 women and over 100 accused Maoists. Jailbreaks have occured before at Chaibasa. In January 2011, senior Maoists Nirbhay, Sandeep and Dhirendra escaped, and remain at large.
Chaibasa (Jharkhand): Two undertrials of Chaibasa jail were killed on Wednesday in police firing and at least 10 others managed to escape in West Singhbhum district.
In an audacious breach of jail security, at least 15 prisoners of Jharkhand’s Chaibasa jail fled, spraying pepper powder into the eyes of guards and dodging bullets of jail sentries that killed two of them — both alleged Maoists —and injuring three others.
[The Indian state’s war on tribal people (adivasis) and their Maoist champions is guided by the historic colonizer’s strategy book. When they order troops from colonized nations within India to fight people rising against Indian State terror, it is useful to remember …. this has been done, many times, before.
When hostages identify with their captors, it is called the “Stockholm Syndrome.” As Malcolm X pointed out, when “House Negroes” see the Master’s house is on fire, they run for water to extinguish the flames, while “Field Negroes” get gasoline so the fire will burn more intense. In this sense, as Steve Biko said, “The most potent weapon of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed.” These “mental” weapons for the oppressors become material, when the oppressed take up arms for the oppressor. The rejection of such colonized deployments is a critical part of every liberation and revolution.
When the French colonizers fought the British colonizers in North America, they manipulated indigenous people (“Indians”) to do their fighting for them. When, after the US Civil War, the Northern victors set out to conquer the native “Indians” in lands to the West, they deployed Black soldiers (“Buffalo Soldiers”) to carry through the colonization fight. When Europeans were facing uprisings across colonized Africa, they most commonly sent their native colonial troops to suppress the anti-colonial challengers.
Hundreds of such examples dot the pages of colonial history – and in some cases, like the San Patricio Battalion (Irish migrants who were deployed by the US in the “Mexican War” of the 1840’s), or Black troops deployed against the Filipino independence fighters in early 1900s, or US soldiers in Vietnam who became resisters and fraggers, the deployment of oppressed soldiers against other oppressed peoples was rejected and many refused to fight, and some joined the resistance of the colonized. This struggle to exorcise the influence of the oppressor, to de-colonize the minds of the oppressed, continues today in Nagaland, in Chhattisgargh, and everywhere oppression and resistance is found. — Frontlines ed.]
MCPM urges Nagas to resist deployment in Maoist areas
Correspondent IMPHAL, Nagaland Post, October 23, 2014
Major General R. K. Sharma, Additional Director General, NCC Directorate North Eastern Region Shillong on his visit to Ist Nagaland Girls Battalion, NCC Kohima on April 9. The ADG highlighted the NCC activities and various opportunities and incentives offered by NCC. He appreciated the state government for its support towards NCC activity in Nagaland. Patkai College has been selected by UGC to take up National Cadet Corps (NCC) as elective subject in the curriculum from the academic year 2013-14.
Maoists have put up posters at Kalimela Policestation area in Malkangiri districts of Orissa asking people to cooperate with them to make the PLGA week observation a success
The Manipur based underground group Maoist Communist Party Manipur (MCPM) has asked Naga Regiments not to allow themselves to be deployed in the Maoist stronghold areas of India, especially in Dandakaranya Revolutionary zone.
Publicity and propaganda secretary Comrade Nonglen Meitei of the outfit, in a statement dispatched to the local media, appealed to the Naga Regiment to oppose the implementation of this decision regarding their deployment.
It further appealed the regiment not to go to Chhattisgarh as “slaves” while urging to raise their voices against the forceful deployment and showed solidarity towards the revolutionary people of that region who are fighting for their very existence. Continue reading →
[The arrest of civil rights activists in Andhra Pradesh is a dramatic extension of the state’s intensified suppression of rights activists. Eleven were arrested — for organizing a press conference, and for organizing a protest petition against — but police claimed this was only to deal with the “Maoist threat.” Here, below, is the response of civil liberty organizations, followed by a mainstream (police directed) article which equates Maoism with rights activism. — Frontlines ed.]
October 10, 2014
Detention of civil rights activists in Vishakhapattanam “a threat to constitutionalism, rule of law”: PUCL
Deccan Chronicle: “The police thwart the committee’s call for a public meeting in protest against operation Green Hunt, an anti-Naxal operation by the security forces in various the states”
The People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) has strongly condemned “arbitrary and illegal” detention of civil liberties activists and human rights defenders in Vishakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh, on October 9, 2014 when they were trying to hold a press conference at the Civil Library, Vishakhapatnam, to announce a meeting on October 12 to protest against Operation Green Hunt. “The hostile and intimidatory action of the police was supported at the highest level in the state government”, said PUCL, adding, this was clear “when the Vizag police arrested five other human rights activists who had gone to the Camp Office of DIG, Vishakhapatnam Range, to bring to his notice the illegal arrests of their colleagues.”
Signed by Prof Prabhakar Sinha, national president, PUCL, and Dr V Suresh, national general secretary, PUCL, the statement by the influential civil rights group said, “The fact that the Andhra Pradesh police released the activists subsequently does not mitigate from the fact that the government and police’s action constitute a serious threat to constitutionalism, rule of law and fundamental right to free speech and expression, assembly and dissent.”
[During electoral campaigns in India, candidates and parties often post publicity posters (“flex signs”) — a method which Maoists have apparently also adopted to promote their revolutionary program and slogans, to the distress of State police and their electoral masters and bourgeois media. — Frontlines ed.]
Suspected Maoists put up flex boards in Attappady, Kerala
K. A. SHAJI, The Hindu, PALAKKAD, October 5, 2014
Electioneering on flex boards. Pictures of the Maoist advocate’s posters are not published in the Indian bourgeois press.
The police have stepped up vigil in Attappady region following the appearance of flex boards allegedly installed by the banned Maoist outfit to exhort the working class to prepare for an ‘armed battle’ against ‘ruling elites.’
While most of the flex boards were seen in Kallamala region of western Attappady on Friday morning, a few were installed at Poonchola and Pambbanthode villages close to Mannarkkad. The boards claimed their ownership to a special regional committee of the CPI(Maoist) Western Ghats unit.
The boards said the organisation was observing the 10th anniversary of its armed resistance and sought cooperation of the general public in strengthening the party base in the three southern States. It wanted strong public vigilance against concerted efforts of the ruling class to plunder water, land, forests, and natural resources.
Q: Why have you appealed for election boycott? A: As usual, we have appealed to people to boycott the elections because they are a farce. Elections only renew five-year tenures of loot and torture by the elected representative in the present system. Our target is to change this system from the root and establish a people-centric society and that is not possible through elections.
Q: Will the poll boycott be violent this time too? A: This does not depend on our saying anything. Like always, this time too, the government has deployed a huge a number of security forces in the name of conducting free and fair elections, which are already exploiting and torturing people. Attacks on villages in the name of search operations, arrests, beating up people, fake encounters are consistently on. It is important to resist such acts. Therefore, I can only say that when the government tries to defuse our poll-boycott movement through crackdown on the people, then there will certainly be a counter to it. Continue reading →