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How NAXALITE SUPPORTERS HARP — AB Bardan July 30, 2006

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‘Government eliminating rivals under Salwa Judum cover’

By Indo Asian News Service

Raipur, July 30 (IANS) Chhattisgarh’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government is eliminating political rivals in insurgency hit Bastar region under cover of anti-Maoist movement Salwa Judum (Campaign for Peace), CPI national general secretary A.B. Bardan

‘The Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government and the Chhattisgarh’s BJP government should stop Salwa Judum and initiate a dialogue with Maoist ultras to find a solution to the decade-old leftist violence,’ he said.

‘The state government should stop all operations against the rebels with immediate effect and start a dialogue on the pattern of the ongoing dialogues between the centre and the insurgent groups in the northeast,’ Bardhan stated.

He said he had demanded at the recent UPA-Left coordination committee meeting that the centre should take an initiative to wind up Salwa Judum.

‘I demand that the centre should not entertain any request of the state government regarding its fight against leftists, which includes providing Naga forces, as it would pitch a northeast tribal community against a central India one,’ Bardhan remarked.

He said Salwa Judum would never produce any result, which was evident in Maoists’ stepped up killings of innocent tribes people in revolt-hit Dantewada district.

Bardhan also asked Maoist leaders to stop ‘civilian butchery’ and come for a dialogue to find a solution to the ongoing violence.

‘What is your strategic outlook for the future of the country, you (Maoists) must spell out,’ Bardhan said.

Chhattisgarh, is one of the worst affected of India’s 13 states, and the state government said this week that 348 persons – 272 civilians, 28 rebels and 48 policemen – were killed in Maoist violence in the state since the launch of Salwa Judum in June 2005.

Copyright Indo-Asian News Service

2 die, 9 hurt in bus blast by Naxalites July 30, 2006

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GAYA: A powerful explosion took place in a Howrah-bound bus near Sulebatta ground on the GT Road near Barachatti, about 50 km from here, on Saturday evening. Two persons were killed and nine others injured in the blast that ripped the rear portion of the bus.

The bus service, originating from Gurua in the district, caters to the people, mostly traders, in interiors of the district who travel to Kolkata for business purposes.

Gaya SP Amit Jain said he suspects the involvement of the Marandi faction of the splinter group of outlawed Maoists. The identity of the dead is yet to be established as the bodies were badly smashed.

The injured have been admitted to the Magadh Medical College Hospital here where the condition of three is said to be critical. Of the injured, one has been identified as a Bengali from Murshidabad while the eight others are Gaya natives.

The police have of late stepped up operations against the Marandi faction and recently Rakesh Mahto, a prominent activist of the group, was arrested in Barachatti, a Naxalite stronghold.

It was in Barachatti that the campaign helicopter of former BJP chief Venkaiah Naidu was torched by the Naxalites after it made an emergency landing in the fields in February 2005.

Senior officials, including DM Jeetendra Srivastava and SP Jain, have rushed to the place of occurrence. The SP said the bombs may have been kept in the luggage placed over seat numbers 24 and 25.

Asked if the bombs were planted or one of the passengers was carrying them for use elsewhere, the SP said nothing can be said with certainty at this stage.

Reports reaching here said the bombs exploded apparently due to the impact of a jerk caused to the bus while negotiating a big speed hump. The driver, Mohd Shamim, said he only heard a loud explosion and thought it to be a case of tyre burst. But some glass splinters hit him, he said.

People’s support or power from the barrel of gun? July 30, 2006

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Rayagada/Gajapati
Saturday July 29, 2006

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If Naxals are championing the cause of people, then, why people are afraid of Naxals? And, when Naxals claim that they have the backing of the people, then, why there is an atmosphere of distrust and discomfort among people?

By Prakash Rao

It’s raining cats and dogs in southern Orissa. The weather is chilling. So chilling is the mood in the air. The Pople’s War Group (PWG) is observing Martyrs’ Week from July 28th in the memory of the ultras who laid down their lives in their war against State. I and my friend Rajeev were on our way to Berhampur from the Naxal-hit Rayagada district. We left Rayagada Town at around 6 pm. A few kilometers away from Rayagada Town at the JK Pur junction, we stopped at a pan shop where the shop owner advised us not to travel in the route during night as Naxals are observing Martyrs’ Week. But, we decided to go. And, during the 210-kilometre journey, we realized why the paanwala advised us not to travel.

We did not see a single vehicle on the road, except for the Government-run transport corporation buses ferrying passengers to and from far-flung places in Rayagada, Koraput, Malkangiri and Nowrangpur. Our SUV was zooming towards our destination. We hardly saw any villager on the road. Everywhere, shops were closed and houses locked. It looked like a total bandh.

Roughly 105 kilometre away from Rayagada and 5 kilometre from Adaba in Gajapati district, one of the worst Naxal-hit places in Orissa, we encountered a family stranded on the way. Their Honda City had met with an engine snag. Surrounded by dense jungles, the family was virtually in trauma. The car owner, an engineer, tried to stop few buses and two trucks for help, but no one stopped. It’s Martyrs’ Week time and strangers are not be trusted, particularly on this route. We stopped there, and after a 45-minute exercise, the Honda City did not start. Left with no alternative, we hooked the car to our SUV with a chain and pulled it up to Mohana (eight kilometers) at 10 km per hour speed.

We stopped at a garage, which was locked. The mechanic was sleeping inside. We knocked at the door, but he did not open the door. He was just talking to us from inside. After a 30-minute-long deliberation, we managed to convince the mechanic. He came out only to tell us not to expect any service around this time when Naxals are mourning the Martyrs. “Dit not you people see red flags with warning statements put along the road,” he asked. Our reply was, “ yes, we saw red flags and posters, there were many.” Honda City was too tough a vehicle for a village mechanic and we had to pull it again. The vehicle was parked at Mohana police station and the family came with us to Berhampur.

Between the 20-kilometre stretch from Mohana to Luhagadi junction, and behind from Adaba to Mohana, there were six PWG posters and banners tied to bamboos and put along the State Highway no-17. At some places CRPF, jawans were patrolling. The State Police personnel were also watchful in civil clothes.

The family had their packed dinner in our vehicle. My friend and I went to the dhaba at Luhagadi. The dhabawala tols us to finish food quickly. Martyrs’ Week was accompanying fear and distrust to everywhere. We wondered, “if Naxals are championing the cause of people, then, why people are afraid of Naxals? And, when Naxals claim that they have the backing of the people, then, why there is an atmosphere of distrust and discomfort among people?”

“Sir, you never know, what will happen, when and where,” said the dhabawala. And, in the end, we were forced to think Naxals do not just survive by people’s support as they claim. It’s the power flowing from the barrel of the gun that makes them survive.

Maoists’ plan to celebrate martyrs’ week July 29, 2006

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[ 29 Jul, 2006 0248hrs IST TIMES NEWS NETWORK ]

RANCHI: The state police is likely to gain major success during the week in its anti-Naxalite operations provided the intelligence wing and information sources work efficiently. The opportunity comes in the form of call given by Maoists to celebrate martyrs’ week throughout the state.

While the police stations located in Naxalite-affected districts have been put on high alert, the department has also mobilised its information sources in remote villages to keep a tab on the celebrations being organised by the Maoists.

However, the police admit that gathering information about the programmes being organised is the toughest challenge. “We are geared up to arrest the extremists from the locations wherever they hold programmes, but obtaining information about the locations is a big challenge,” said Bokaro DIG Anil Palta.

The celebrations began on Friday and would conclude on August 3. During the week, they have planned to commemorate the sacrifices of their local leaders in memory of founder leaders, Charu Majumdar and Kanhai Chatterjee.

With an objective to propagate the week-long celebrations they intercepted Shaktipunj Express on the Barkakana Rail section near Dumri Vihar railway station on Thursday night and distributed pamphlets to the passengers.

The train that was halted for nearly 35 minutes was overpowered by a group of over 200 Naxalites comprising mostly of female members at around 9.45 pm. According to the passengers, the Naxalites stopped the train by showing red signal, entered into it and asked the GRP not to interfere in their business.
Waking up the passengers one by one they handed over the pamphlets to them calling for their support to their armed movement and martyrs’ week celebrations.

The pamphlets released under the Jharkhand Regional Committee of the Maoists, mentioned names of some 20 Naxalites who were killed in police operations and appealed to the masses to support their armed rebellion against the oppressive government.

It further read that every year, the Maoists observe week-long programme to commemorate the sacrifices of their leaders throughout the country so as to keep the spark of movement alive.

The Maoists appealed to its activists to undertake programmes like pamphlet distribution, distribution of hand written bills, wall writing, banner display, organise conferences, processions and demonstrate their strength through torch procession in different parts of the state.

The regional committee has also called upon labourers, farmers, students, intelligentsia, artists, teachers and petty traders to extend support to their cause of revolution and further propagate the week-long celebrations.

Observing the threat to the railways and its passengers, the state police has made special arrangements, but expressed inability to keep vigil in the remote areas. Though the police is ready to co-operate with the railway department, it becomes practically impossible to guard the entire route in remote regions, stated IG, operations, B C Verma.

Naxals issue fatwa against police informers July 29, 2006

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CPI (Maoist) issues fatwa against police informers
Saturday July 29 2006 11:05 IST
BHUBANESWAR: Virtually on the defensive after losing their cadres in police encounters in quick succession, the outlawed CPI (Maoist) has began an operation to cleanse the outfit of informers in the State.

‘‘The CPI (Maoist) is issuing death warrants against all those behind police encounters and supplying information to security forces,’’ a release issued by Sunil, secretary of the outfit’s State organising committee stated.

The heat is on the banned outfit, mostly in Deogarh district where police gunned down seven cadres between April and July leaving the local organisation in complete disarray. The press release, citing the casualties, said action by the security forces couldn’t throw a spanner in their works.

Rather, they have resolved to fight back and hand out ‘capital punishment’ to police informers and those responsible for the encounter deaths, by trying them in people’s court, Sunil stated.

‘‘Officer-in-charge of Motu police station Durga Charan Mishra was mowed down by People’s Liberation Guerrilla Army since he gunned down two of our woman cadres in an encounter,’’ he drove home the point.

The extremist outfit also pointed that one sarpanch of Deogarh district had tipped off the police which led to killing of three cadres in April. Similarly, the recent encounter, in which four Naxals were killed, had taken place after villagers of Prabhasuni played the informers.

The CPI (Maoist), which is observing Martyr’s Week from Friday, is expected to resort to violence in the Naxal-affected areas and its release gives telltale intentions. The State Police has already pulled its socks up for any eventuality.

In fact, the Maoist outfit has not only decried industrialisation in Orissa but also criticised the way disputes on ceiling-surplus land is being handled in Rayagada and Gajapati districts. The Naxal body also urged left activists to shun their outfits and join the mass struggle against what it called State Government-sponsored oppression.

"An Iron Harvest" By C.P. Surendran July 28, 2006

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Reviewed By Vinod K. Jose

28 July, 2006
Countercurrents.org

As the Naxalite movement grew in strength by the 1970s, it was common for college campuses to be frequently raided by the Police. Anyone could be picked up on suspicion regardless of whether they had anything to do with the movement or not. One day, Rajan, a young engineering student at the Regional Engineering College, Kozhikode, was not only arrested but went missing in police custody. What exactly happened to Rajan, one still doesn’t know. But all we know is that he died in police custody. It is widely believed that Rajan was brutally tortured by the police, killed and the body disposed off. Rajan’s disappearance became the much talked about issue among the Malayali public at the time with Rajan’s father, Echara Warrier, approaching the court with a habeas corpus writ petition. The court observed that the Government of Kerala had lied in its affidavit. This led to the resignation of Kerala Chief Minister and Congress leader, K. Karunakaran, who was the home minister at the time of the incident. However, with none of the politicians and policemen responsible for the murder punished even after 30 years, justice continues to be denied.

Eventhough justice is still denied the custodial death of Rajan and the Naxalite movement continues to inspire Malayalam literary imagination. Numerous short stories, novels and plays have been written on it. Film makers have made internationally acclaimed films (For example Piravi, by Shaji N. Karun). In regular intervals, reports from investigations on how police disposed Rajan’s body, testimonials by retired constables who have confessed that Varghese, one of the prominent leaders of Naxalite movement in Wayanad, was shot in a fake encounter, surfaces in the Malayalam newspapers. It is the same Rajan’s story and the Naxalite movement that has inspired C.P.Surendran, a journalist, poet in writing his debut novel, An Iron Harvest, the book under review.

John, the main protagonist of the novel is described as the ‘young Che Guevara like leader of the Maoist organization Red Earth’. John, a student in the Regional Engineering College, Kozhikode, joined Red Earth and has led a guerrilla squad in many of its operations. Varkichayan, expelled from a mainstream communist party, is the main leader of Red Earth. Alongside the story of Red Earth, there is another story that enfolds. This is on the disappearance of a classmate of John, Abe, who according to the author is ‘a political innocent’, from police custody. It is believed that Abe was tortured and killed in police custody, and the body was then disposed off by the crime branch police, Raman, who heads the counter-Naxalite operations during the Emergency. Abe’s father, Sebastian, knocked on many doors for justice, but in vein. Raman, being a close associate of the Home Minister, Shankaran Marar, was given protection from all his adversaries. During an attack on the police station, John and his men are caught. Raman takes John to a forest and shoots him and even gets a promotion for that. But, when the National Emergency is over, Sebastian approaches the court, and gets Marar and Raman convicted for his son’s murder. Justice is delayed, but delivered finally. And the novel ends.

In an interview to Deccan Herald, the author, C. P. Surendran echoing the middle class concerns on the movement which inspired him to write the novel says, ‘An Iron Harvest comes from my friends in school and college who died for what was perhaps never there. Call it revolution, if you will. What was all that pain and courage for? Now I sleep in an air-conditioned room and flowers bloom over their graves. What is the value of heroism?’ It is the deep middle class cynicism and individualism embedded in the above statement that prevents the likes of C. P. Surendran from going beyond the usual rhetoric that is often aired and making a more rational analysis of the Naxalite movement for what it was. When an author begins with the premise that the movement was an effort in vain, then one can expect where the novel would be heading. Besides, in Wayanad, where much of the plot in the novel enfolds, it was because of those on whose graves flowers bloom today that minimum wages began to be implemented; feudal lords stopped harassing the adivasis and tenants; practices like Vallikettal, whereby adivasis would be auctioned in wholesale at Valliyurkavu temple to work as slaves in the farms of landlords, came to an end; Kerala Scheduled Tribes Act that promised ‘to restore all alienated land for adivasis’ got passed. Naxalites fell short of achieving their goal, but if it had not been for them, issues such as the agrarian crisis in Wayanad (manifested in the alarming rate of farmers’ suicides), alienation of land from the adivasis (the 2003 police firing on adivasis inside Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary), large scale deforestation (the felling of trees in Wayanad by the Birlas since 1960s for their newsprint factory and the subsequent environment movement) etc. would have remained in oblivion. ‘What was all that pain and courage for? Now I sleep in an air-conditioned room and flowers bloom over their graves’. May be the likes of C. P. Surendran would always pretend not to know what all that pain and courage was for. For the air-conditioned room has a way of quarantining one from the messy reality of the world.

When a novelist claims that his work “is based on a true incident”—a claim that gives legitimacy to the book—one expects him to portray the period and its reality with some objectivity. But, in respect to the plot, the characterization and the many details on the period, An Iron Harvest proves to be contrary. His characterization leaves an impression that Naxalites were just some trigger-happy men, who drank and doped all the time, and who were brought together by mere personal affinities than any common understanding of politics. Nair is a dope supplier who runs his business in a pan shack at a busy street in Kozhikode. One day, during a protest that turned violent against government, he is knocked unconscious. Varkichayan, a Naxalite leader, saves him and takes him to a hospital. As a gratitude to Varkichayan, Nair becomes a Naxalite! Such is the callousness of the characterization that is done. If one is to read the biographies of people who were once part of the Naxalite movement (Eg. Ormakurippukal by Ajita) or talk to an elder in Wayanad, it becomes amply clear that Naxalites like Kisan Thomman, Sukumaran, Kunjaman, Joseph, Sankaran Master, Thettamala Krishnankutty, Maran, Choman Mooppan et al. were people with tremendous understanding of what they were doing and why they were doing it. They were farmers, union leaders, adivasis, school teachers or those who broke away from the mainstream communist parties, each of whom had a distinct history of political engagement. But, in An Iron Harvest, the author makes sure that none of these Naxalites are brought alive in the characters of Heston, Rajan, Mani and others.

From a novel telling Naxalite stories, one would at least expect the author to provide the readers with some accurate portrayal of how a guerilla squad carries out an operation. This is also lacking in this novel. The author seems to have done very little research on this matter and leaves much of it to his imagination. For example, this is how a decision is taken among the characters to attack a police station:

‘I think we should conduct a raid,’ John said.
… ‘We have to decide which police station to raid,’ Nair said.
‘Pulpally of course,’ Heston said.
‘It is too far away…,’ John said….
‘Tirunelli is more accessible to us,’ John said.

And so, they attack Tirunelli station. But why do they attack? Do they attack out of boredom? Do they really target a police station according to how accessible it is to them? Why does the author remain silent about the politics behind such operations? Is it because, it would make it easier for him to parrot what the mainstream media and the intellectual class in our country today, are saying about the ‘mindless violence’ of the Naxalites?

In 1968, close to a thousand poor farmers, mostly from Meenachil taluk in Kottayam district migrated to Pulpally Panchayat in Wayanad. When they started cultivation, the Pulpally devaswam (temple authority), claimed ownership over 27,000 acres of their land and asked them to vacate from those land. The Forest department initiated the process of eviction. Farmers resisted, and subsequently the Malabar Special Police (MSP) was called in (MSP was a colonial armed police force started by the British to crush the Mappila resistance and the numerous smaller resistances in Malabar. Post independence, MSP came under Kerala government. After the Naxalite movement, they conjoined MSP with Kerala Armed Police). MSP, camped in Pulpally Sitadevi temple, began to harass the farmers who continued cultivation. A memorandum from these farmers reached a group of Naxalites. They organized a couple of meetings with the farmers and decided to attack the MSP camp in Pulpally. According to the testimonials of the locals, this was how the ‘Pulpally station attack’ happened. It is in the light of this real incident that the author writes about the ‘Tirunelli station attack’. There is however a difference. As far as the author is concerned the attack was just the outcome of the decision made by a bored group of six guerrillas who one fine day felt like attacking a police station and thereby, choosing the most ‘accessible’ police station in the vicinity. Whereas Pulpally station attack was done by a group of approximately hundred men and women, who were to be evicted from the land they lived. Of course, this kind of fact would not make it into a novel that completely misses out on the politics behind the Naxalite movement. To the credit of the Naxalites, the farmers finally got their land back in Pulpally.

It is also important to take note of the role that the author assigns to women in his novel. Convicted in the ‘Pulpally station attack’, Ajita, a woman Naxalite leader, spent nine years in jail. Her mother Mandakini, a Gujarati and a former headmistress in a school in Kozhikode, had also joined the Naxalite movement. There were many other women who sympathized and conspired with the movement. However, the author portrays the Naxalite movement as a purely male affair, devoid of any participation of women. At the same time, the only woman who gets some amount of attention in the novel is Janaky, a childhood friend and a former lover of John. Janaky gets married to Raghu, who works in Dubai, and has a one year old child, Mohan, who suffers from progressive atrophy of the heart. She returns to Kerala and John goes to meet her after he receives a letter from her. After years of separation, the warmth between them lingers, leading to a clumsy, frantic lovemaking. Later in the day a conversation starts between them. Janaky tries to convince John who, in her words, has changed from ‘my lover to the rebel of lost causes’, about the worthlessness of his politics. John disagrees and tries to convince Janaky about the relevance of his politics. Getting nowhere, the conversation ends bitterly with Janaky grieving ‘sometimes I feel bitter that you preferred politics to me. Guns to my roses’. The author gives the impression that women after all are not interested in ‘politics’, especially the one that is armed with ‘guns’, which also explains for the absence of any women Naxalites in the novel. Instead, he confines women to a world of ‘roses’, away from ‘politics’. As a result, he reinforces the existing gender stereotypes.

The author’s research on the differences between Naxalite politics and the politics of mainstream communist parties are also poor. When the senior most leader of Red Earth, Varkichayan discusses politics with John, which by the way is the only instance in the novel where a top leader discusses politics with anyone, a distorted representation of the issues raised by the Naxalites in Wayanad is given. On the fundamental limitation of their movement, John says: ‘…And the fundamental limitation is that the mainstream communist parties have corrupted the worker’s ideology to the point that he thinks that things will change through the ballot box. He is not entirely in the wrong either. The Land Reforms Act that the Communist ministry brought into effect gives him hope in parliamentary politics…As far as I’m concerned if we are able to unionize the workers in the plantation and ensure them a reasonable deal in terms of wages, that in itself is a big achievement. Revolution perhaps can wait.’
‘Fair enough,’ Varkichayan wheezed.

To be fair to the Naxalites in Wayanad of the 70s, Land Reforms Act was the first thing that they attacked. Their numerous pamphlets talked of how land reforms failed to change the land ownership pattern, and how it provided loopholes for meeting the interests of the rich plantation owners. One such ‘exemption’ in the Kerala Land Reforms Act 1969, which was a boon for the rich farmers, stated, ‘ceiling is lifted in the, case of rubber, tea and coffee plantations, private forests and patently non-agricultural lands and lands belonging to religious and educational institutions’. The Naxalite movement, which was more active in the agricultural hill areas of Kerala, ‘exposed land reforms’, convincing their constituency of poor farmers, agriculture laborers and adivasis of the need to take to a revolutionary path. The slogan of the mainstream communist parties, ‘land to the tiller’, and the electoral promise they made regarding redistribution of land in favor of the landless poor, were misnomers at least for the peasants in plantation districts like Wayanad.

The National Sample Survey (37th round) has some interesting data on the land distribution in Kerala. Even after the land reforms, while 76.3 per cent of the Kerala population, owning merely 00.00—00.99 acres of land per household, hold merely 21 per cent of the total land in Kerala, 9.3 per cent of the population own a whopping 54.2 per cent of the land. It is quite clear from this that the land reforms in Kerala happened at a superficial level. When the main protagonist in the novel, John, is portrayed as convincing his leader Varkichayan, on the efficacies of Land Reforms, and opts not to raise the issues of land distribution in Red Earth’s campaign, the plot moves far from the reality of the period, and the issues raised by the movement. And to one’s surprise, the main leader, Varkichayan without a debate, seems to approve of John’s line of argument.

The real life story of Rajan and his father Echara Warrier is a story wrought with injustice and anyone who has followed the case would agree on that. Like many other court cases where political bigwigs and senior police officers are involved, nobody ever got punished for the murder and even Rajan’s dead body remained undelivered to his family. A few months ago, Echara Warrier too passed away. Despite all this, the author would like to make it a success story in the novel. Sebastian, father of Abe, who approaches court soon after the Emergency, manages to sent Marar, and Raman to jail, thus ‘restoring honor to his son’. According to a reviewer of An Iron Harvest in a newspaper, ‘Sebastian nearly drowns in despair, but in the end emerges a winner, redeemed by what he so irrevocably has lost’. Is this act of twisting a story of injustice into a matter of celebration justified?

The author rightly knows what the Unique Selling Proposition (USP) of the book is. Hence, he has identified it and tailored it around the context of a ‘Maoist revolutionary organization’, something that is exotic and sellable these days. Sadly, it is one of those works which has failed to objectively analyze Maoist politics, but one that reaffirms many of the earlier middle class prejudices.

The blurb in the opening page of the book introducing C.P. Surendran declares him to be ‘one of the most important poets of India.’ Whether that is an exaggeration or not, his debut novel definitely would not make him ‘one of the most important novelists of India.’ The novelist fails to portray the spirit of the real life story, distorts facts, and gives an image makeover, perhaps, a consequence of writing it ‘from the comforts he gets from his AC room’, as he said, and forgetting to be truthful to his ‘friends graves’, and their stories.

Vinod K. José is the reporter in Delhi for Radio Pacifica Network, an American newscast. Vinod is from Wayanad, Kerala. He can be contacted at vinodkjose@gmail.com

Life inside the Naxalite camp July 28, 2006

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NDTV Correspondent

Watch story

Thursday, July 27, 2006 (Dantewada):

The People’s Liberation Guerrilla Army in Dantewada, Chattisgarh was raised on December 2, 2000 by the Maoists to create pockets of liberated zones.

A state of constant war is how the Maoists define survival and expansion as they take on the Naga Battalion, the CRPF and the local police.

Village Sangham is the basic unit of the Maoist organisation. Dalam or people’s militia is raised from the Sanghams.

Dalam has full timers involved in organisational work and organised into platoon, companies and battalions.

Female fighters

Among the members are Lakki and Buddri – trusted soldiers very comfortable with home made rifles. At times they use self-loading rifles and sten guns.

Their weapons are from the police armory seized during raids.

Buddri was on sentry duty in February when Naxals raided the Baila
Dila mines ammunition dump. They fled with over 20 tonnes of explosives.

Lakki’s role was to ambush the policemen.

“I was on sentry duty when we raided the Baila Dila mines and carried away ammunition,” Buddri said.

On the ground in Dandakaranya – divided into five divisions or districts, a divisional secretary commands actions approved by the top leadership.

Recruitment

Hare Ram, an adivasi, joined the force when he was 12 years old and
he is now an area secretary as head of a local organisation squad.

The squad visits hundreds of villages, motivates and recruits full timers into the Dalam and later screens them for the fighting force.

“First when the Naxalites came into the forest villages they were called kuppalor or dacoits. Slowly they gained the confidence of the people,” Ram said.

“We intervened when the forest guards threatened to set the village on fire and sought goats and bribe”.

He added, that Naxal Dalam members beat up the forest guards and
patwari and gradually the movement gained ground.

“We don’t have good weapons. We know fully well the weapons cannot win us this war. It is only people’s love that can sustain the movement,” Ram said.

“Its been one year since Salwa Judum began harassing the villagers in the name of the Naxal army. But the Dalam is where it was and villagers have not given us away,” he said.

The young men and women return after a day’s patrolling to dance and sing in their own Gondi language.

They sing of the martyrs who died so that others could live with dignity.

And the Chetna Natya Manch performers are proof that the war the Maoists are waging is not just with weapons.

Madhav and others cremated July 28, 2006

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Updated: 07-28-2006 By andhracafe

The victims of the Nallamala trajedy were laid to rest in the presence of Gaddar and other sympathisers including Varavara Rao.

Slain Naxal leader, Madhav’s son lit the funeral pyre of father he had only heard and never seen. The funeral took place at Karimnagar after the body was brought from Guntur. The funeral of 3 other victims of the encounter K.Udayakumar, P. Susheela and Vijaya Lakshmi took place at Hyderabad.

Salva Judum divides adivasis — WRONG WRONG ( July 28, 2006

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Rajesh Ramachandran

Friday, July 28, 2006 (Dantewada):

Its brother versus brother in the forest villages of Chhattisgarh. With the creation of Salwa Judum and its special police officers to take on the Maoists, the violence in Naxal-hit districts has only increased.

It has pitted adivasis against each other. The tension is palpable on the Sukhma – Konta high way in Dantewada. A different war is being waged here where aggressor and victim are both adivasis.

Here, 31 adivasis had their throats slit when Maoists attacked the Salwa Judam camp on July 16. Large parts of this camp at Errabore were burnt and the police station and CRPF post in the vicinity were no protection.

The blood letting between the Maoists and the Salwa Judam began in these forests a year ago, with the creation of Salwa Judum, a peace campaign by Opposition leader Mahendra Karma to counter Maoist violence.

Under Karma’s leadership, the state government hired adivasis and made them Special Police Officers or SPOs for Rs 2500 a month and armed them. They in turn lead the security forces into the forests, bringing villagers into camps near police stations.

Government support

Supported by the government, Karma succeeded in bringing over 45,000 forest villagers into 17 camps spread across Dantewada. This, he sees, is the only way to wean villagers away from Maoist influence.

“The Nagas, CRPF, BSF; they have not been invited to Chhattisgarh state to be fed. If they do what they have to, the Salwa Judum is not responsible. They allege that the police goons and we are fighting them together. What else can they say? This is their lie,” said Mahendra Karma, Opposition leader, Chhattisgarh.

The Maoists had disturbed the traditional village hierarchy, barring headmen from polygamy and disempowering them.

Karma, the traditional headman of several villages has chosen another feudal head to lead the biggest camp Dornapal. Soyam Erra is from a family of traditional mukhiyas.

“Earlier the police party used to go inside the forests but only to get killed. What did they know of the forests? Now our Special Police Officers go along with the force and we show them Naxal hideouts and we attack them,” said Soyam Erra, Camp head.

Erra and his SPOs are controlled by the police and outsiders from Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and elsewhere who have for generations settled on roadside villages.

Terrorised villagers

Some SPOs are accused of gang raping woman and terrorising villagers who are neither Maoists nor rich farmers but just victims.

“The Salwa Judum told us that when the Army comes you would be killed. If you remain in the forests you would be beaten up and limbs broken. But if you join Salwa Judum it would be better for you. We were threatened to join Salwa Judum,” said a villager.

“That’s what happened to everyone. We were all herded into these camps. But now Naxals say they would kill us if we remain here with Salwa Judum. We have been badly caught in between,” the villager added.

This is probably the only place where people have refugees in their own land. If they remain in their villages they would be termed Maoists and targeted by the police and the Salwa Judum.

If they come into the camps they would become victims of the Maoists. This state of civil war only seems to get worse everyday.

Eighth slain Naxal identified July 28, 2006

Posted by naxalwatch in Uncategorized.
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Friday July 28 2006 15:14 IST
ONGOLE: The police on Thursday established the identity of the eighth slain Maoist killed in the Darabailupenta encounter in Nallamala forest on Sunday as Rama alias Bhulakshmi of Lakshmipuram village of Ardhaveedu mandal in Prakasam district.

According to police, slain Naxalite Rama’s brother is Nallamala East Area Committee secretary Sagar alias Panduranga Reddy alias Pratap and her mother Eswaramma was killed in an encounter at Racharla on February 5, 2006.