Indian Police Note Women’s Role in Maoist Leadership

[The year 2014 in India has seen an intensification of the class struggle, mass resistance and democratic activism, armed resistance and revolutionary struggle in growing areas throughout India.  And the news has often focused on the state repression, mass arrests and police killings, and the increased incidence and prominence of attacks on women.  In two articles here, the police acknowledge the ever-growing role of women in Maoist leadership, as women are now a majority of combat fighters in the revolutionary party and armed units.  The first article appeared soon after International Women’s Day (March 8), and the second appeared this week.  It should be said that while the police talk of noticing this trend now, women have long played a significant role in the Maoist organization. — Frontlines ed.]    …………….

Women Maoist commanders play big role in encounters

Written by Vijaita SinghIndianExpress | New Delhi | March 17, 2014

Women commanders have come to constitute almost half of the armed cadre of Maoists and are playing a major role in encounters, like they had done in the Sukma encounter in Chhattisgarh on March 11, security forces believe.

A Maoist poster pays homage to their women cadre on International Women’s Day

A Maoist poster pays homage to their women cadre on International Women’s Day

It is difficult to get a headcount but a rough number of women killed in encounters last year was available after security forces stumbled upon Maoist posters and pamphlets to pay them homage on International Women’s Day. One poster in Gadchiroli district in Maharashtra paid homage to 17 women commanders killed in encounters over the year.

In the past one year, there has been a significant increase in women joining the armed wing of Maoists.  Maoists do not leave behind their dead and take away the bodies. The posters enabled security forces to get a headcount.
Posters recovered from Gadchiroli identified some of the women as Indra, Dhanni, Geeta, Anita, Swarupa, Santila, Pramila, Seema, Reshma, Vasanti, Champa and Mamta. It said, “mahila bina kranti nahin, kranti bina shoshan mukt samaj nahin (no revolution without women and without revolution there can’t be an exploitation-free society).
In the March 11 encounter in Sukma in Chhattisgarh where 15 security personnel were killed, women Maoist commanders played a role, according to the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) which lost 11 men. The state police personnel lost four men. In a presentation to the MHA, the CRPF had said Maoists were divided into three groups, and one group comprised mainly of women commanders in black uniform who fired from behind. After a drop in male recruits and desertion, Maoists have started recruiting women on a large scale.

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“Female Naxals Get Combat Role”

The Asian Age, October 14, 2014 – Rabindra Nath Choudhury | Raipur

The CPI (Maoist) leadership has of late effected a radical structural change in the outfit by drafting more and more women cadre in combat roles besides ensuring their fast rise in the rebel hierarchy, intelligence sources said on Monday.
The sea change in the organisational structure has been brought on strategic point of view to transform it from a male-dominated outfit to women-centric one, a senior police officer quoting intelligence reports told this newspaper here. “In 2008, Maoists’ top hierarchy comprised barely 25 per cent women. The women representation in Maoist top hierarchy has now grown by leap and bounds to a staggering 60 per cent. This clearly indicates that the CPI (Maoist) is heading towards a women-dominated radical force in coming days”, the police officer said requesting anonymity. Continue reading

India–“Peals of Spring Thunder”: Oppressive System cannot control the struggle against oppression

The Naxalite Attacks at Sukma
by BINOY KAMPMARK, writing in CounterPunch

naxal_attackThey have been considered one of India’s most pressing threats, and the recent attack by the Naxalites that ambushed a convoy of the Congress Party went that much further.  The ambush took place over the weekend in Sukma on the Maharashtra, Andra Pradesh and Chhattisgarh border. Reports suggest that there were as many as 200 Maoist rebels who inflicted heavy losses – 28 killed and 24 others wounded – before fleeing.

The attacks have shaken the establishment.  Among the dead were four state party leaders including Mahendra Karma of Chhattisgarh, and five police officers.  For BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar, “This new aggressive strategy of the Naxalities is a real threat to the Constitution and the rule of law. It is a challenge to sovereignty” (Times of India, May 26).  Former police chief of Punjab state KPS Gill is pessimistic about the new surge – the government of the day did not “have the political will and bureaucratic and police set-up to prevent such attacks” (Dhaka Tribune, May 26).

How the Naxalites have been treated has varied.  In 1967, when the movement first made its presence felt in the West Bengal village of Naxalbari, the Home Minister Y. B. Chavan treated the matter as a case of “lawlessness” in action.  The mistake was classic but fatal.  During the 1970s, the state authorities moved in on the movement hoping to crush it with repressive enthusiasm.  As usual with such measures, the quotient of extra-judicial killings and corrupt practices accompanied the operations.  Legislation was passed to enable various state authorities to take measures – the attempt, for example, by the N.T. Rama Rao government to free up arms licensing in Andra Pradesh in 1983 for individuals to protect themselves against the Naxals. Continue reading

India: Maoists celebrate 11 years of People’s Liberation Guerrilla Army

Odisha: Maoists destroyed 2 mobile towers in Koraput district

Saturday, December 03, 2011

by Manoranjan Routray; Koraput: The Maoists are celebrating their PLGA (People’s Liberation Guerrilla Army) 11th anniversary starting from 2nd December to 8th December. The CPI (Maoist) concentrates on recruitment of fresh cadres into the party during the PLGA week every year.

Maoists destroyed two mobile towers near Boipariguda police station in the district of Koraput on the first day of PLGA week. “No explosives have been used in the attack. The Maoists have used Kerosene to set afire the battery room.”

Moreover Koraput, normal life was also affected in Malkangiri, Rayagada and Gajapati districts in south Odisha on the start of the PLGA week marking the foundation day of People”s Liberation Guerrilla Army by the red rebels. Passenger buses and other vehicles remained off the roads in these districts. Shops and business establishments also downed their shutter in several places, particularly in remote areas.

Thousands of wall posters have been pasted across almost all important towns in Malkangiri, Koraput and Gajapati districts said to the support in the state. The Maoists too have put the posters on buses and urged the people to support the people’s war. The Maoists in one of the poster say that the name PLGA (Peoples Liberation Guerrilla Army) will be renamed into PLA (Peoples Liberation Army).

All the Government and private buses plying from Jeypore in Koraput district to different places of Malkangiri district, Lamtaput, Ankadeli, Machkund remained off the roads to avoid any untoward incident due to observation of PLGA Week by the Maoists. The Maoists, who had blocked the roads by felling trees and digging big holes last week, were cleared by the police and BSF jawans and the route to Parvatipuram in AP, Rayagada and Laxmipur from Narayanpatna was normal. Continue reading

India: News reports cite big growth in Maoist forces, in response to military repression

PLGA Week: Maoists recruit 5,000 youth in Malkangiri

Thursday, 22 December 2011

LALMOHAN PATTANAIK | JEYPORE

During the recent observance of the Peoples Liberation Guerrilla Army (PLGA) Week, about 5,000 youth and adolescent girls were recruited by the Maoists particularly from Malkangiri district, sources said.

Challenging the joint combing operation of police, CRPF, SOG and paramilitary forces, they were able to hold open meetings for membership drive in the cut – off and remote pockets of the district. They held Prajamelis in around 10 villages, including in several village haats in Alampaka, Similibanki, Kusuguda and Kurmanur areas along the AP- Odisha border.

The Maoists made the tribals aware of the significance of observing PLGA Week, its aims and objectives besides corruption by the Government agencies in the integrated tribal development programmes. About eight Maoist organisations, including Korukonda, Kalimela, Podia and Chitrakonda Dallam of both Andhra Pradesh and Chatishgarh participated in the Prajamelis, sources confided.

They demanded declaration of area encompassing Bihar, Jharkhand and Dandakaranya area as free zone so that the tribal development can be possible and the aboriginal tribes are not deprived of their rights. They appealed to the tribes to join their hands with them for the revolution, sources revealed.

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source:  http://www.dailypioneer.com/state-editions/bhubaneswar/29619-plga-week-maoists-recruit-5000-youth-in-malkangiri.html

Indian Military Think Tank studying Maoist strength, resilience and “secret weapon”: the masses

[The Indian mass media, which is overwhelmingly in service to reactionary forces and which loyally promotes the confusing and fabricated stories of the police and military–routinely tells horrifying stories about the Maoists, and how the Maoists are so inferior that they have nearly completely collapsed.  Such propaganda is clearly designed to discredit the growing (and diverse) political opposition and support for popular revolutionary forces.  But the Indian state does not believe its own propaganda hype.  It commissions its think tanks to make sober and realistic assessments of the growing strength and strategic course of the Maoists (to inform its generals and counter-insurgency military planners).  Such is the nature of this report. — Frontlines ed.]

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Maoist People’s Liberation Guerrilla Army

P. V. Ramana, Institute for Defense Studies and Analyses
December 12, 2011

The People’s Liberation Guerrilla Army (PLGA) of Naxalites of the Communist Party of India (Maoist) [CPI (Maoist) in short], marked its 11th anniversary concluding on December 5, 2011. The rebels indulged in a spree of violence blasting government office buildings, schools and railway tracks in various places. They also attacked two police stations –– Dhivra and Tandwa in Bihar, both of which were successfully repulsed.

This annual, week-long commemoration came in the immediate aftermath of the killing of Mallojula Koteswara Rao alias Kishanji in a gun battle with the security forces, on November 24, 2011, in the Burisole forest area of West Midnapore district, West Bengal. Also, the Maoists gave a call for a general shutdown, with limited success, in their strongholds in various States on December 4 and 5 to protest the killing of Kishanji.

The PLGA was founded on December 2, 2000, originally as the People’s Guerrilla Army (PGA), by the then Communist Party of India–Marxist-Leninist (People’s War), PW in short, and popularly known as the PWG. The founding day also marked the first anniversary of the killing in an encounter of three Central Committee members of the then PW, Nalla Adi Reddy, Yerramreddy Santosh Reddy and Seelam Naresh in the Koyyuru forest area of Karimnagar district. Following the merger of the PW and the Maoist Communist Centre of India (MCCI), on September 21, 2004, the PGA was renamed as the PLGA.

At the time of launching the PLGA, Nambala Keasava Rao alias Basava Raju, who is believed to be the de facto head of the Maoist military machine, said that it was founded to “smash the rule of imperialism, feudalism, comprador bureaucrat capitalism, and to seize political power by setting up a new democratic state as a first step in the path to socialism.” Its flag signifies a resolve to overthrow the state through the force of arms. It carries a hammer and sickle cut across by a gun.

Besides, at its founding, the general secretary of the CPI (Maoist), Muppala Lakshmana Rao alias Ganapathy, who was also the general secretary of the then PW, said: “The PGA must mingle with the masses and become a part of their lives and their aspirations. In this way, the PGA will grow and equip itself to take on the multi-pronged attack by the government…” In fact, this is in consonance with what Mao Tse Tung once said: “… all the practical problems in the masses’ everyday life should claim our attention. If we attend to these problems, solve them and satisfy the needs of the masses, we shall really become organizers of the well-being of the masses, and they will truly rally round us and give us their warm support … ”1 Eventually, as the mass base of the PLGA expands to include various sections of society, the Maoists hope to transform the PLGA into the PLA. Continue reading

The Guardian (UK)–India’s Maoist Liberated Zones, part 3: “‘In two weeks, I was a paramedic’”

What led Jairam Ramesh to tag Maoist areas as ‘liberated’? In the last part of the series, Suvojit Bagchi explores the reasons
 SUVOJIT BAGCHI  11th December, 2011

A Maoist doctor, somewhere near the Indrawati River, Bastar district. PHOTOGRAPHS: SUVOJIT BAGCHI

The reasons for the rise of the Communist Party of India (Maoist) in south Chhattisgarh’s heavily forested region — an area as big as a mid-sized European country — was the subject of several conversations with party cadres and leaders during my five-week stay in the upper course of the Indrawati River in Dandakarnya (DK). While the strength of party units, built over a span of 30 years, is the primary reason for rise of the Maoists in DK, there are other factors that prompted Union Minister Jairam Ramesh to recently describe south Chhattisgarh as a “liberated zone”, where the state’s writ does not run.

Health Care

Health care in DK, provided by the state government, is nothing less than atrocious. There are few health centres and doctors are not available round-the-clock.

To fill the vacuum, Maoist barefoot “doctors”, a few hundred boys and girls in their early 20s, often travel like missionaries from one hamlet to another with boxes full of medicines for common ailments such as malaria, snake bites, dysentery, severe itching and fever. They are adored by villagers.

Prakash, a 23-year-old doctor with a serious, oval face, told me during a casual conversation one evening, “Earlier, no one took me seriously. One day, the party’s division secretary asked me if I would like to be a doctor. I thought he was joking but then he sent me to a camp, manned by doctors from cities, where I was trained for two weeks. I returned as a paramedic. Now the entire village, mine and others, runs after me. It gives me a strange sense of empowerment and purpose — I am doing something for my people, my land.”

Imparting this “strange sense” of purpose to a group of illiterate, underfed, sickle cell-ridden and half-lost tribal populace to organise themselves against the world’s third largest military power is what the Maoists’ success is all about.

Maoist Schools

The children of guerrillas are tutored by senior members and travel with a platoon or a company. Older children with a basic understanding of language go to what is called the Basic Communist Training School. A close look at the syllabus of the school reveals a mix of life-skills training, basic education and political theory that may help raise volunteers for the party. Continue reading

BBC Takes a look at “Life in an Indian Maoist jungle camp”

Jul 19, 2011

“The BBC’s Suvojit Bagchi, who was granted unprecedented access to a Maoist camp in the depths of the Chhattisgarh jungle, describes the rebels’ precarious life.

After eight hours of walking in dense forest, in the early evening we entered a narrow, barren stretch of land hemmed in by hillocks.

At the far end stood a few blue and yellow tents.

Somji, one of the men who collected me between a small town in south Chhattisgarh and the thick central Indian forest, picked up speed as we approached.

A tall man standing guard with a rifle flung over his shoulder whistled and people started rushing towards us.

In under a minute, the camp members stood in formation and began singing a welcome song.

Each member in the queue raised their fist to whisper “lal salaam” – “red salute”.

Mostly aged between 15 and 30 years old, the men and women in the camp wore rubber sandals, olive green battle fatigues and carried guns of various makes.

India’s Maoist rebels say they are fighting for the rights of indigenous tribespeople and the rural poor.”