United News of India, October 17, 2010
PCPA Bandh Hits Life
Jhargram, Sept. 27 — PCPA activists raised blockade on State Highway nine at six places between Lodhasuli and Jhargram on the second day today of their 48-hour bandh in the Junglemahal areas. Official sources said the activists blocked the highway by felling trees. These were removed by the security forces in the morning.
The bandh paralysed life in the Junglemahal areas of West Midnapore, Purulia and Bankura districts for the second consecutive day. The People’s Committee Against Police Atrocities (PCPA) was protesting alleged atrocities against innocent villagers by the combined forces.
Roads wore a deserted looks, while shops and business establishments kept their shutter down. Educational institutions remained shut and attendence in government offices was thin. Despite the threat by the PCPA that they would target railways, train services were normal.
SDO Jhargram C Murugan said, ”Life has been paralysed in West Midnapore, Purulia and Bankura districts. No untoward incident, however, has been reported so far.”
Incidentally, a Maoist and a CRPF jawan lost their lives in an encounter on Saturday.
Salboni: It has been over a month since the horrific derailment of the Gyaneshwari Express team near Jhargram in West Bengal that left 148 dead. The Maoist-backed People’s Committee against Police Atrocities (PCPA) is accused of derailing the train and some of its leaders and members have already been arrested in connection with the derailment.
But CNN-IBN learns that the group is now not just building health centres, roads and renovating water tanks but also building a private army.Jangalmahal in Salboni block in West Midnapore of West Bengal is described by the state government as “disturbed area”, and the banned CPI-Maoists call it a “guerilla zone”. Despite Section 144 imposed for over a year now, Maoist-backed PCAPA is able to organise a gathering and it is their way of suggesting they are the rulers here. The West Bengal government led by the CPI-M is trying hard to get a toehold in the area.
The PCPA claims security forces often harass the people.”They tried joint forces. They surrounded some villages and the joint forces took away six people. Women blocked the road but they fired and lathi charged. What is the reason? They are harassing us,” says PCPA spokesperson Manoj Mahto.Barely 18 months ago the area was considered a CPI-M stronghold.
Now former CPI-M members, who are now with the PCPA, speak of their disillusionment with the Bengal Marxists.”For the last 35-40 years there was no irrigation. Why did the party not do that? Where is development, where is irrigation. Today we are doing that,” says a former CPI-M member Lalmohun Mahto.Sajan Mahto makes Rs 150 whenever he finds work. He says he has contributed Rs 100 and also five days labour for building the hospital in the area. Continue reading
Death And The Maiden
17 June, 2010, Countercurrents.org
A photograph featured in The Hindu, dated 17-06-2010 shows security personnel in West Bengal , carrying the body of a woman killed in a purported raid on a Maoist hideout.
The woman’s body had been trussed up like the carcass of a dead animal. The photo speaks volumes of how the Indian state views those it considers a threat to the internal security of the nation – as people beneath its contempt and consideration.
The photo featured alongside that of the dead woman shows a ‘captured’ young adivasi man, barely past his adolescence – a face that could stand in for a large number of disenfranchised, poor and desperate tribals, who are being treated as enemies of the state for merely wanting to lead a life of autonomy and dignity.
Merely labeling the dead woman and this young man ‘Maoist’ does not explain the reasons for their disenchantment with the Indian state’s policies, both at the regional and national levels – policies which are calculated to deprive them of their right to life and livelihood. Nor does such a labeling take away from the cynical and outrageous disregard and disrespect that these photos represent. Continue reading