#India – Villagers speak- The Maoists Support Us, But We Haven’t Joined Them’


In Odisha’s Koraput district, hardly a week passes without the police announcing the “surrender” of Chasi Mulia Adivasi Sangha (CMAS) members. But what crimes did the Adivasis commit for which they had to surrender? That’s a question even the Koraput Superintendent of Police Avinash Kumar finds hard to answer. CMAS chief Nachika Linga, an Adivasi who is currently underground, has been named in every case filed against the CMAS or the CPI(Maoist) in Narayanpatna, Bandhugaon and Laxmipur blocks of the district. Linga spoke to G Vishnu from an undisclosed location

G Vishnu

G VISHNU , Tehelka

June 7, 2013

Nachika Linga

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Chief, Chasi Mulia Adivasi Sangha.
Photo: 

EDITED EXCERPTS FROM AN INTERVIEW

How many of your activists were arrested? How many are still in jail?
Till now, over 500 innocent Adivasis have been jailed. Most of them were members or sympathisers of the CMAS. There has not been a single conviction. When the cases reach the court, they have always ended in acquittal. More than 100 activists are still in prison.

Why are so many CMAS activists surrendering to the police?
Since 2009, there has been an aggressive campaign to loot Adivasi lands at gun point. Farmers are being told by the police either to surrender or face the bullet. Ordinary Adivasi villagers are being forced into police jeeps and later paraded in front of the media. Those who have asserted themselves and fought for their rights are being shown as ‘surrendered’ CMAS members.

What are the goals of your organisation?
I was a bonded labourer for a moneylender. Ever since I was a child, I have seen how alcohol is used as a weapon against Adivasis. Ours is a democratic struggle for our rights. Adivasis managed to acquire land only after facing great odds, but the liquor mafia and non-tribal landlords enslaved us on our own land. “Jameen MuktiMadhaMuktiGoti Mukti (Struggle for land, emancipation from alcoholism and bonded labour)”: that’s the motto of the CMAS. The CMAS aims to create awareness among Adivasis about their rights.

Though your movement was non-violent initially, the police say you are Maoists.
We are fighting for our rights, and anybody can support us. The Maoists, and even intellectuals in Bhubaneswar and New Delhi, support Adivasi movements. But it is wrong to claim we have joined the Maoists. The police victimise Adivasis by branding them as Maoists. This must stop.

When innocent Adivasis are killed, some people see it as ‘collateral damage’. Do you also think some sacrifices are necessary?
The ordinary Adivasi fights with the elements to grow crops. Where do your people get rice from? Adivasis and farmers provide that rice, but today they are the ones getting killed. On top of that, the establishment claims it can ensure the welfare of Adivasis. Adivasi blood is being shed everywhere, so it doesn’t matter whether or not I think sacrifices are necessary.

vishnu@tehelka.com

 

#India- Dealing with Maoists


The Maoists want a military conflict as it brings more adivasis into their fold. The Indian state‘s best bet is in ensuring that it wins over the aam adivasis to its side.
CHITRANGADA CHOUDHURYAJAY DANDEKAR, Outlook

May 25th’s condemnable attack by the People’s Liberation Guerrilla Army, which ended up killing and injuring over 50 people from Congress politicians to migrant adivasi labourers, cannot be understood without recognising the Maoist party’s explicit political aims. These aims include zero tolerance for any competing political force in the party’s area of armed influence. Also, as stated often by male members of the party’s non-adivasi leadership, the polarising hardships created by military conflict are desirable since they hold the opportunity of swelling the party’s ranks.

But to make deeper sense of the attack, Indians must also acknowledge the routine stymieing of democracy and governance in adivasi India— the context that nurtures the current avatar of India’s four-decade-old Naxalite rebellion.

If the Indian establishment wishes to effectively end such attacks in the long run, it cannot sidestep a hard look at why it stands so discredited in the aam adivasi’s eyes across central and eastern India. If  “democratic values” are what are at stake, as leading politicians argued in the wake of the attack, their parties must also act to uphold and defend such values in numerous adivasi blocks where the Maoists neither challenge the writ of the state nor hold out the threat of political assassinations.

Here are some specifics dos and don’ts:

1. Implement land rights safeguards: From the adivasi bonded labour agitations in neglected western Orissa to the struggles against losing land and livelihoods for mining and industrialization across the bauxite, coal and iron ore-rich tracts of central and eastern India, land is at the heart of much of the ongoing violence adivasis suffer. This despite clear safeguards in the Constitution, dedicated land alienation laws and the atrocities act, all of which are meant to prevent and redress adivasi displacement and dispossession. Existing constitutional and legal provisions have to be seriously implemented to address this growing crisis.

2. Fast-track the Forest Rights ActFrom the adivasi perspective, the 2006 Forest Rights Act (FRA) was arguably the most meaningful legislation of independent India. It overturned colonial notions of the state as owner of the forest, and recognised adivasis and other forest-inhabitants as rightful cultivators of forest produce and key actors in forest conservation. But states have been reluctant to cede control— as per the government’s latest status report (April 2013), under 50% of land title claims filed by villagers in Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Maharashtra and Orissa have resulted in titles. On the ground, this translates into deliberate neglect. In a mid-May interview with one of the columnists, residents of a Gond village in Orissa’s forested coal belt said they had filed FRA claims in 2010 but there was no administrative action to process them. Instead, forest officials had been making rounds of the village with officials of a private mining company. The other important aspect of the law—giving adivasi communities the right to market their forest produce—has been implemented in only a handful of villages across India.

3. Stop criminalising legitimate spaces of expression and protest: A wide spectrum of non-violent adivasi movements today exist on the ground, agitating on multiple issues including forced displacement, the loss of access to natural resources, the absence of meaningful economic and social rehabilitation, below-minimum wages, government liquor shops and indebtedness. Many of these struggles get little public or media attention. The state’s common reaction is to throttle and intimidate such agitations, often through outright physical assaults or by filing criminal charges against protestors, including those of Naxalism. In Chhattisgarh, such non-violent movements have had to coalesce under a single banner hoping for strength in numbers, given the perennial fear of imprisonment under the state’s harsh Public Security Act.

4. Pay closer attention to justice: The criminal justice system as it exists today is loaded against the adivasi. On the one hand, there is little recognition for crimes—from police atrocities to cheating and forced displacement—committed against the adivasi. NHRC’s April visit to Chattisgarh reinforced this principle of zero culpability when it did not recommend criminal charges in any of the questionable encounters that killed adivasi villagers. On the other hand, adivasis are routinely picked up and imprisoned, spending years in a hostile system they can make little sense of. Court proceedings often take place in a language they do not understand, the official legal aid system takes little interest in them, and private lawyers who can get them bail are beyond reach. This April, a year after a committee was set up to examine cases of adivasi prisoners, its head and former bureaucrat Nirmala Buch said she did not know if the Chhattisgarh government had acted on the recommendation that prosecutors not oppose bail for 110 adivasi undertrials in the 235 cases the committee had examined. Undertake a dedicated review of adivasi undertrials, and act on its findings. Create a distinctive legal aid program for adivasis with funds from the Tribal Sub-plan budget. Institute criminal charges on adivasi complaints.

5. Hold businesses accountable: Among the leading violators of human rights in India’s adivasi belt are businesses, in particular mining corporations who have made an unparalleled entry into these areas over the past decade. This presence will only expand in the coming years, but there is alarmingly little attention by the state on the profound implications of this for vulnerable communities on the ground. Corporate misdemeanours range from intimidating gram sabhas, falsifying records, fixing public hearings, nurturing land speculation and alienation, bribing politicians, the bureaucracy and the district media to facilitate violations, sapping natural resources including groundwater, and polluting without any notion of having to pay for it. All of these are open secrets through various levels of government. Yet a blind eye is turned since the consequences of these violations are primarily borne by adivasis. Businesses operating in adivasi areas need to be held to a code of conduct with clear principles of responsibility and accountability.

6. Address the head-on policy collision between mining and adivasi rights: There is a nascent but overdue debate within government on how mining in its current form is incompatible with the constitutional provisions for adivasis. V Kishore Chandra Deo, the most engaged Tribal Affairs Minister India has seen in a long time, has repeatedly pointed to the crisis of confidence and trust in adivasi areas mining is causing. He took this position most strongly in a letter on April 4 to the governors of all adivasi-populated states, men of power who have routinely ignored their constitutional mandate of ensuring ‘peace and good governance’ in adivasi areas. Deo’s concerns over mining have been publicly seconded by his colleague Jairam Ramesh. It is no coincidence that these are the only cabinet members who spend time in adivasi areas and see the damage on the ground first-hand. What is the larger strategic plan for our mineral resources and where might we draw the line on the social and economic costs adivasis bear for our extractive industries? Give these questions the seriousness they deserve, even though they are difficult ones to ask, when spoils from mining enrich individual MPs and MLAs across party lines, and bankroll electoral campaigns.

7. Engage, don’t exclude: Through a series of executive orders, the current government has shrunk the legitimate powers of gram sabhas in adivasi areas to participate in decisions over matters that affect them, from developmental and mining projects to diverting and destroying forests. None of these rollbacks were run by locals or justified to them. They orders came in response to high-level lobbying, and often after explicit PMO directives. The effective message to adivasis is that their participation is irrelevant, or an irritant. Dedicated area development funds in adivasi areas such as the Integrated Action Plan are imbued with a similar scuttling of participatory norms. IAP funds, hundreds of crores of rupees, are entirely controlled by 3 district bureaucrats, violating the legal mandates of local communities and elected panchayats. What proportion of IAP money and energies were spent to engage communities in key challenges like creating accessible and meaningful healthcare in their area?

8. Don’t patronise the adivasi: Adivasis are not our ‘backward’ siblings but full and equal citizens confronted with, and living through enormous inequality and injustice. Recognize that adivasi societies are home to deep and distinctive traditions, which add to the diversity India takes pride in. They also possess an evolved ecological awareness, acquired over generations of managing their environments and livelihoods— knowledge systems that arguably rival those of the most celebrated “development experts”. If the rest of India has the humility to listen, adivasi communities might hold valuable policy insights on how we could avoid replicating the fate of China, which has gravely damaged its environment on the path to economic progress. Incidentally, adivasi societies also possess better sex ratios than some of India’s most developed areas including South Delhi and South Mumbai. Don’t look down on adivasis for “staying aloof from the meanstream [sic] of modern society”, as one government document on Malkangiri’s IAP put it. The fundamental issue seeking resolution is not adivasi difference, but mitigating the inequality and injustice that compromise democratic values for them at every turn.


Chitrangada Choudhury is Research Fellow, Centre for the Study of Developing Societies. Ajay Dandekar is Professor, Central University, Gujarat.

 

Press Release – CPI(ML) On Maoist attack


Press statement

CPI(ML) Condemns the 25th May Attack of Maoists on Congress Rally

The 25th May attack on the “Parivartan Rally” of Congress in Bastar region of Chhattisgarh by Maoists leading to killing and injuring of many including Congress leader Mahendra Karma and severe injury to V.C. Shukla, is a suicidal act which will only lead to further intensification of state terror against the adivasi masses. The CPI(ML) condemns this anarchist action by CPI(Maoist) which will only tarnish the image of Naxalbari uprising of landless and poor peasants of North Bengal in 1967 for land and social change and the people’s struggles led by them in different states.. The class collaborationist line of CPI and CPI(M) which in effect lead to colluding with Congress on the one hand, and the anarchist acts of Maoists in AP, in Jharkhand and W. Bengal along with  Chhattisgarh which have led to their debacle in these areas on the other, are only helping the reactionaries to defame the communist movement and to launch vicious attacks on it in all fields. Both these trends have done serious damage to the communist movement.

It is abundantly clear that the present attack leading to killing of many Congress activists including the leaders will be used by the ruling system to intensify the already started para-military onslaughts to wipe out Maoists from their strongholds. It is infantile on the part of Maoists to think that by killing Mahendra Karma they can take revenge against Salwa Judum or other atrocities perpetuated against the adivasis and other oppressed sections. If Karma took initiative in putting forward the Salwa Judum, it was the BJP led state government and central forces which implemented it. Instead of targeting the ruling system, and Congress, BJP like parties who implement the reactionary policies by heading central and state governments, Maoists are indulging in anarchist attacks which is serving the ruling system  as a cover to attack the democratic movements and the adivasi people, to help the land grabbing and mining of Essar, Jindal, Tata like corporates. This Maoist attack like many of their earlier acts will be used by Congress to depict all communist revolutionaries as supporters of BJP also, while in fact they are fighting against these communal fascists, and attack Congress and BJP as two sides of the same coin.

The CPI(ML) once again appeals to the Maoist leadership to evaluate their hitherto activities, to retrace their path and to join the path of mobilizing and educating the masses for countrywide offensive against the ruling system. It calls on all democratic forces to oppose all attempts of the central and state governments to use this attack as a cover to intensify state terror.

KN Ramachandran

General Secretary

CPI(ML)

26 May 2013

 

Chhattisgarh – Bastar tribals demand CBI probe #indigenous


Rashmi Drolia, TNN May 9, 2013

RAIPUR: Enraged tribals of Maoist hotbed Narayanpur district in tribal Bastar region of Chhattisgarh are demanding a CBI probe into the alleged police encounter of two villagers in Maronaar village near ChoteDongar on April 30.

A joint team of COBRA battalion, CRPF and district force claimed to have gunned down Maoist cadres of Duala Dalam Phool Singh and Jai Singh. Since then police have been facing severe protest from 84 villages in the vicinity against the killing.

Talking to TOI, Panniram Wadde, president of tribal Gond community in Bastar said, “On the night of April 30, town inspector Vijay Chelak and sun-divisional officer of police B N Baghel dragged three brothers of the family to the police station and after brief interrogation, police relieved Ram Singh, keeping Jai Singh and Phool Singh in the custody. Next morning their mutilated body was found in the jungles of Maronaar, few kilometre from the police station. Aged between 30 and 35 years, both the villagers were involved in farming.”

Wadde said, the police had also claimed to have found four muzzle loading guns, one USA made pistol, one country-made pistol, couple of grenades and tiffin bombs, detonators and Naxal literature in their camps, but the fact was that they were dragged empty-handed from their homes. Panniram alleged that the police had fabricated the encounter by beating them and made them wear Maoists uniforms, killing them in the forests.

More than 10,000 agitated villagers from 84 nearby villages gheraod the police station in protest demanding CBI probe in the case. “Not only did the police kill them, they also buried both the bodies in the same ditch after conducting post mortem,” Panniram said adding that the body was not handed over to the family.

Comrade Niti, commander south Bastar CPI (Maoist) called up newsmen at midnight, to point out that it was not the first time that police victimized innocent villagers. “When they fail to trace Maoists they assault villagers and kill them fabricating the incident as an encounter. This time too the police have killed two innocents. CPI (Maoist) strongly condemns the incident,” she said.

In another incident, a member of Gond community, Pramod Potai, said that more than 30 villagers of Kukrajor region, 10 km from Narayanpur, were admitted to a hospital after being brutally beaten up by the police. “The CRPF base camp was attacked by Maoists on the intervening night of Tuesday opening firing at policemen. Though there were no casualties, soon after the incident police came to the village thrashing them for not passing them information about planned firing,” said Potai. Condition of five villagers is said to be critical.

 

 

Soni Sori acquitted in 4th case; lawyers to move HC for bail #Vaw


 Indian State honours monster - Justice for  #SoniSori #Vaw

Feb 15, 2013, 03.47AM IST TNN

RAIPUR: It feels like a ray of light in a darkened past and the pessimistic-looking future of Soni Sori, the 36-year-old frail adivasi teacher in Chhattisgarh, after her brutal custodial torture that shows the rotten side of our state machinery. She has been acquitted in a case filed against her and 19 others of opening fire and using explosives to blast the vehicles of Essar Steel. Her lawyers now plan to move the high court for her bail in other cases pending against her.

“With this acquittal, Sori has been discharged from four out of eight cases registered against her by the Dantewada police in connection with almost all the Naxal-related incidents that took place in the region between July 7, 2010 and September 2011,” her laywer K K Dubey told TOI on phone from Dantewada. “The case of the prosecution collapsed like a pack of cards,” Dubey added.

Dantewada additional sessions judge Anita Dehariya on February 12 acquitted Sori as none of the witnesses could come forward with any statement to link her with a case that was registered against her back in 2010. Sori’s story is a painful document revealing the different shades of the bleak reality of adivasis caught in the crossfire between the Indian state and the Chhattigarh police on one side and the Naxals on the other.

Sori was arrested on October 4, 2011 in New Delhi, when she was on the run, on unproven allegations of being a Maoist sympathizer and acting as a conduit to extort Rs 1.5 million for the banned CPI (Maoist) from the Essar group. Sori was handed over to the Chhattigarh police despite her insistence that she was being framed by them. An independent medical examination of Sori at NRS Medical College, Kolkata, at the behest of the Supreme Court found stones lodged in her vagina and rectum. TOI has a copy of the medical report of the Kolkata hospital that confirms her claims.

Sori has said that she was pulled out of her cell at the Dantewada police station on the intervening night of October 8 and 9, 2011 and then taken to SP Ankit Garg’s room, where on his orders, three men stripped her, gave her electric shocks and inserted stones into her private parts. She lost consciousness. A few months later, SP Ankit Garg was awarded the Police Medal for Gallantry by the government for his role in a counter-insurgency operation in 2010.

The Essar case and another case on Maoist attack on Congress leader Avdesh Singh Gautam are the two crucial cases still under trial. In the Essar case of payment of protection money to the banned CPI (Maoists), Essar General Manager D V C S Verma and contractor B K Lala are out on bail while Sori and her activist nephew Linga Kodopi are still in judicial custody.

 

 

#India-Civil society groups demand revocation of gallantry medal to IGP of Chhattisgarh #republicday #Vaw


 

By Newzfirst Correspondent1/26/13

KALLURI

New Delhi – A group of rights activists, academicians, journalists and advocates Friday appealed to the President of India Pranab Mukherjee demanding revocation of the President’s Police Medal for Meritorious Service awarded to SRP Kalluri, Inspector General of Police Chhattisgarh, accusing him of raping a tribal woman.

 

According to the activists Kalluri raped a tribal woman Ledha Bai when he was the Superintendent of Police at Sarguja District, ordered his sub-ordinates to gang-rape her and then terrorized her and her lawyer when she decided to file a complaint against him.

Referring to last year’s President’s Gallantry medal to another cop Ankit Garg, activists  said that it appears that sexual violence against women by the police is well tolerated, and even decorated, by the government. Rights’ defenders have accused Garg of sexually assaulting a tribal woman in his custody, Soni Sori.

Ledha Bai Under advice from the police convinced her husband Ramesh Nagesia, a member of the CPI(Maoist) to surrender himself to the police. “But, the police team, lead by the then-SP of Sarguja, Mr. SRP Kalluri, went to the pre-assigned meeting place and shot the unarmed Ramesh Nagesia dead, in front of his wife Ledha.  Ledha was allowed to live, but with the caveat that she would not tell anyone about this episode.” said activists.

However, a few days later, Ledha, her 2 year old child and her parents were rounded up and taken to the police station. There, Ledha was stripped and raped by Kalluri, and green chillies were inserted into her vagina in front of her parents and daughter.  Under orders from Kalluri, SPO Dhiraj Jaiswal and others gang-raped her in police custody for about 10 days, alleged the statement released by the activists.

More than fifty individuals including noted activists like Shabnam Hashmi, Nandini Sundar, Himanshu Kumar, Kamayani Bali Mahabal, Manisha Sethi, Ram Punyani, Kavita Srivastava and Iftikhar Gilani, signed the petition.

 

 

PRESS RELEASE- Statement of Protest and Demand for withdrawal of Gallantry award to SRP Kalluri


KALLURI

  25th January 2013

We, the undersigned, are appalled at the conferment of the President’s Police Medal for Meritorious Service to SRP Kalluri, IGP of Chhattisgarh.  Mr Kalluri raped a tribal woman, Ledha Bai, when he was the SP of Sarguja District, ordered her gang-rape by his juniors, and then terrorized her and her lawyer when she decided to file a complaint against him.  Coming on the heels of the award of the President’s Gallantry medal to Ankit Garg, who had sexually assaulted another tribal woman in his custody, Soni Sori, it appears that sexual violence against women by the police is well tolerated, and even decorated, by the government. Is it any wonder then, that we are witnessing a spiraling increase in crimes against women?

Ledha Bai is a tribal woman who was married to Ramesh Nagesia, a member of the CPI(Maoists).  Under advice from the police, she convinced her husband to surrender himself to the police. But, the police team, lead by the then-SP of Sarguja, Mr. SRP Kalluri, went to the pre-assigned meeting place and shot the unarmed Ramesh Nagesia dead, in front of his wife Ledha.  Ledha was allowed to live, but with the caveat that she would not tell anyone about this episode.  However, a few days later, Ledha, her 2 year old child and her parents were rounded up and taken to the police station. There, Ledha was stripped and raped by Mr. Kalluri, and green chillies were inserted into her vagina in front of her parents and daughter.  Under orders from Mr Kalluri, SPO Dhiraj Jaiswal and others gangraped her in police custody for about 10 days.  All this has been documented by several fact-finding teams and was also corroborated by Ledha’s statement in front of a magistrate.

When Ledha tried to lodge a complaint against Mr. Kalluri, she and her father were intimidated to the extent that they had to withdraw the complaint, and instead, false charges were filed against the lawyer who had helped her file the complaint.

Mr. Kalluri is well-known for the reign of terror he let loose in Sarguja district as its SP, under the pretext of fighting Maoists.  Extra-judicial killings were frequent, such as the one of Narayan Khairwar, and anyone who raised a voice against this was victimized.  Even a Rozgar Yatra led by the eminent economist Jean Dreze was subjected to a  lathi-charge, on account of being constituted of suspected Maoists.

Later on, Mr. Kalluri was transferred to Dantewada as Senior Superintendent of Police.  His authoritarian rule continued there, and activists and ordinary tribals were subjected to endless harassment under his orders.  Himanshu Kumar, a well-known Gandhian activist opposing Salwa Judum, had his ashram demolished and was forced to flee from Dantewada.  Mr. Kalluri held a press conference announcing the well-respected international organizations such as the International Committee of the Red Cross and Doctors without Borders, were helping Maoists.  In another press conference, he announced that Lingaram Kodopi, a 20 year old journalism student in NOIDA who had addressed public meetings in Delhi talking about the reign of terror in Dantewada under Salwa Judum and Operation Green Hunt, was in fact a spokesperson for the CPI(Maoist) and had masterminded a Naxalite attack in Dantewada while sitting in Delhi.  Linga’s aunt, Soni Sodi, another outspoken tribal woman, was harassed by having multiple false cases lodged against her, and her husband arrested in another false case.  Any tribal activist, other than those working for the ruling party, were arrested and thrown into jail.  Consequently, CPI was forced to write a letter of protest to the Prime Minister, complaining of the witch hunt of their party workers under Mr. Kalluri’s reign, more than a dozen of whom were arrested and many of whom still continue to languish in jail. Kartam Joga, an elected Janpad member of the CPI, who had filed a writ petition in the Supreme Court against Salwa Judum, was similarly picked up on spurious charges and has just been released after 29 months in prison.

In March 2011, SPOs torched three villages in Dantewada district. As Swami Agnivesh was attempting to deliver relief to these villages, police sealed off these areas and attacked the convoy along with Swami ji and accompanying journalists.  The uproar created in the wake of this incident forced the Chhattisgarh government to transfer Mr. Kalluri out of this area.

In view of these crimes committed by Mr. Kalluri, we are unable to understand what constitutes meritorious service in the eyes of our government.  We demand that the medal be immediately withdrawn.

Signed by –

Shabnam Hashmi, Social Activist

Sudha Bharadwaj, Advocate

Shalini Gera, Activist

Nandini Sundar, Academic

Himanshu Kumar, Gandhian activist

Indira Chakravarti

Bela Bhatia, Academic

Kalpana Mehta

Kamayani Bali Mahabal, Feminist and human rights activist, Mumbai

Vrinda Grover, Advocate

Ram Punyani, Scientist and Activist

Mansi Sharma, Activist

Naish Hasan, Activist, Lucknow

Sheba George, Activist, Gujarat

Mahtab Alam, Activist and Journalist

Manisha Sethi, Activist-Academician

Sanghamitra Misra, Activist-Academician

Syed Zafar Mehdi, Journalist

Dr. John Dayal, All India Christian Council & Member, National Integration Council, GoI

Ahmed Sohaib, Activist-Academician

Aslam Khan, Activist, Delhi

Kavita Srivastava, PUCL

Navaid Hamid, member, Member, National Integration Council, GoI

S R Darapuri, former DGP Police

Annie Raja, National Federation of Indian Women

Zakia Soman, Bhartiya Muslim Mahila Andolan

Zulaikha Zabeen, Journalist, Raipur

Sucheta De, AISA

Asad Zaidi, Three Essays Collective

Vinay Bhatt, Activist

Shaheen Nazar, Senior Journalist

Harsh Dobhal, Human Rights Law Network (HRLN)

Kavita Krishnan, All India Progressive Women Association (AIPWA)

Reena Philipm, Activist, Kerala

Reny Ayline, NCHRO

Purva Bhardwaj, Activist and Researcher

Prof. Apoorvanand, Delhi University

Kumar Sundaram, CNDP

Lateef Mohd Khan, CLMC, Hyderabad

Jay N Jayram, Researcher and Journalist

Seema Mustafa, Senior Journalist

Dilip Simeon, Academician

Aijaz Zaka Syed, Writer and Columnist

Prakash K Ray, Researcher

Irshadul Haque, Editor, Naukarshahi.in

Iftikhar Gilani, Senior Journalist

Seela Mahapatra & Madhuresh Kumar, NAPM

Prasad Chako

Utkarsh Sinha

Jawed Naqvi, Senior Journalist

Vineet Tiwari, Gen Sec, M P PWA

Meera Ahmed, University of Delhi
References:

1. Fact finding report on Ledha’s custodial rape http://www.hrsolidarity.net/mainfile.php/2006vol16no02/2491/
2. Affidavit filed by Swami Agnivesh in Supreme Court http://www.swamiagnivesh.com/SwamiAgniveshaffidavit.doc.pdf
3. Account of attack on Jean Dreze and Rozgar Yatra http://www.frontlineonnet.com/fl2213/stories/20050701006013300.htm
4. Letter from CPI to the PM http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2010-07-17/news/28409499_1_cpi-general-secretary-maoists-s-r-p-kalluri

Dissident Trinamool MP Kabir says Maoists helped Mamata win Assembly polls


Express news service Posted online: Sat Jan 05 2013,
Kolkata : Fresh Row: CPM demands CM to explain ‘TMC-Maoist nexus’Dissident Trinamool Congress MP Kabir Suman on Friday told a news channel that Maoists were very much involved in the Nandigram movement and that Mamata Banerjee’s party would not have won a single seat in West Midnapore had there been no Kishenji or Maoists.

“What I have learnt from my political friends is that if there were no Maoists or Kishenji, Mamata would not have won a single seat in West Midnapore. This is what I feel even though I do not know much about politics. People on the streets have helped me understand this,” Suman said.

After trouble broke out in Lalgarh, the CPM had repeatedly claimed that the Trinamool had a nexus with the Maoists in West Midnapore —- a charge that was dismissed by Mamata.

Referring to the Nandigram movement, Suman told the news channel that neither Mamata nor the Trinamool was (initially) in the Nandigram mass upsurge.

“Naxalite leader Sumit Sinha and many others including Siddiqullah Chowdhury were there in the Nandigram movement. The Maoist outfit was not banned in the country (when the Nandigram movement took place). They were declared banned much later. They operated openly (in Nandigram). Among others, Maoists were also there (in Nandigram). Maoists were there (in Nandigram) like many other independent persons. This is not a confession. I am stating the truth,” Suman said.

“If you ask me whether I have seen any Maoist leader building organisation (in Nandigram), I will say that I have not seen anyone,” he added.

Although Trinamool has not reacted to Suman’s statement, sources said the party neither wants to give importance to the rebel MP, nor to his allegations of a nexus with Maoists. This was evident from party secretary general Partha Chatterjee’s statement. Asked to comment on Suman’s statement, Chatterjee said, “I have not heard anything. I am busy in office.”

CPM central committee leader Mohammed Selim demanded that Mamata explain how she had “used the Maoists”.

“Land was not the real issue in Nandigram. The extremists and fundamentalists from both Hindu and Muslim communities got united at that time only to oust the CPM. The Maoists too were co-partners and were used by the Trinamool. The Maoists have accepted this. Now Mamata must explain how she used the Maoists,” Selim said.

 

Govt not to oppose bail for top Maoist leader


 

Nov 23rd,2012
Subject: DNA – Govt not to oppose bail for top Maoist leader

 

In a bid to encourage surrender by Maoist leaders and cadres, the Centre, in consultation with the Jharkhand government, has decided not to oppose the bail plea of former CPI (Maoist) politburo member Sushil Roy on humanitarian grounds.

Terminal ill Roy is suffering from cancer and is currently going through treatment at All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) Delhi.

The home ministry sources said the decision of not opposing Roy’s bail was taken after some civil rights activists met Union home minister Sushilkumar Shinde a week ago and asked for Roy’s release on humanitarian grounds.

Roy, popular as comrade Som, is one of the senior most Maoist leaders and has to his credit overseeing the merger of PWG, Party Unity and Maoist Communist Centre (MCC) into CPI (Maoist) in September 2004. Roy was arrested by West Bengal police on 22 May 2005 and was charged with 11 cases relating to sedition, extortion and waging war against state by West Bengal and Jharkhand governments.

By not opposing Roy bail plea, sources said, the government wants to send a positive signal to all the hardened Maoist leaders and cadres that the government will have a soft approach if they chose to surrender.

Of late, septuagenarian Roy has also advocated ceasefire between government and CPI (Maoist) to pave the way for peace talks.

The government believes that Roy’s case could prove to be a test case and ease out the way for those who now believe that they cannot humble the state through violence and killings but are unable to come out and surrender because of sheer fear.

 

 

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