ICAWPI

International Campaign Against War on the People in India

 

Stop all attacks against the people!

 

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  • Letters from P. Chidambaram and CPI(Maoist) to Swami Agnivesh regarding possible ceasefire

    Ever since Operation Green Hunt was launched, there have been efforts by different sections of the civil society to enable a dialogue between the Indian government and the CPI(Maoist). Though several unsuccessful attempts for dialogue have been made, what is striking is that different government officials and ministers have continuously dismissed any positive response from the CPI(Maoist), as empty posturing or attempts to gain time for regrouping. In the midst of all this, Operation Green Hunt has of course continued, bringing misery to the lives of the people in the east-central forested regions of the country.

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  • Do Not Renew POSCO MoU

    The Mining Zone People Solidarity Group

    To: Mr. Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister of India; Mr. Naveen Patnaik, Chief Minister of Orissa; Mr. Jairam Ramesh, Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Environment and Forests; Ms. Sonia Gandhi, Chairperson of the National Advisory Council

    We write to express our concern at several violations of legal process in the approval of the POSCO project in Orissa, some of which we address below:

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  • Lalgarh : PSBJC calls for boycott of CBI probe into Jnaneswari case

    The Maoist-backed Police Santrash Birodhi Janasadharaner Committee (PSBJC) on Friday called upon the people of Jangalmahal (the forested southwestern part of West Bengal) to “boycott” the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into the Jnaneswari Express derailment case.

    This follows the CBI declaring the outfit's spokesperson Asit Mahato one of the key conspirators in the derailment plan.

    Meanwhile, the bandh called by the PSBJC in the Paschim Medinipur, Bankura and Purulia districts partially affected normal life, mainly in the forest fringe areas, with shops, schools and offices remaining closed and vehicles staying off the road.

    The bandh was called in protest against the arrest of 13 persons, including three city-based “intellectuals,” from Mathurapur village of the Salboni block in Paschim Medinipur on June 15.

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  • No role in Jnaneswari tragedy, say Maoists

    Mohua Chatterjee, TNN, Jun 9, 2010,

    NEW DELHI: The CPI (Maoist) has denied that the party or even its fringe group PCAPA had anything to do with the Jnaneswari Express derailment in Jhargram. It said it would take stringent action if the party's central leadership found any of its members involved with the mishap. The party also gave an assurance that there would be no attacks on trains in future.

    In the first official statement on the train accident for which the Maoists were blamed, party spokesperson Azad denied involvement in the incident that killed over 150 civilians. Condemning the act, the party statement dated June 1 said, "The removal of panroles on the railway track near Jhargram in West Bengal leading to the accident of Kurla-bound Jnaneswari Express and consequent deaths of 150 innocent civilians and injuries to over 200 passengers is highly condemnable."

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  • Why the Maoists cannot be accused of being involved in the Gyaneswari Express incident

    by Amit Bhattacharyya

    In the early hours of 28 May 2010, a goods train rammed 13 derailed coaches of the 2012 UP Howrah-Kurla Gnyaneswari Express between the Khemshuli and Sardiha stations in West Bengal, killing more than 150 people and injuring many others as reports last came in. The incident occurred around 1.30 a.m. when most of the passengers were fast asleep.  Immediately after the incident, the West Bengal DGP, Bhupinder Singh lost no time in blaming the Maoists for the disaster stating that the rebels had removed pandrol clips and fish plates from both up and down tracks leading to the accident. Mamata Banerjee, the Railway Minister, initially blamed the Maoists for an explosion on the track; later, however, she retracted and held that some political conspiracy was being hatched by the CPI(M) to malign her, her party and the railways department in order gain political mileage to stem inevitable defeat in the coming municipal elections.

    Large sections of the media (Print and TV) have come all out against the Maoists and started publishing reports, editorials and articles almost every day. A section of the civil rights groups have also, without making any enquiry, have accused the Maoists of indulging in such 'terrorist' acts. What is particularly disturbing is that most of these reports appear to be blatantly biased and have not taken into cognizance the statement of denial of their involvement in the incident issued by the Maoists themselves.  Something like the mediaeval Europe type of witch-hunting has started with actors calling upon the central government to engage as many forces as possible to deal with this Maoist 'virus' and rejected any proposal for dialogue with them.

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  • Trampling tribal rights

    By Rajesh Sinha

    Naxalism is only one – and an extreme – reaction to what is happening, and being done, to the people in these areas. Despite talk of development and the arguments about Naxalism being a hurdle to it, the actual situation on the ground gives the lie to government's claims. 

    Take the example of Forest Rights Act, as "The Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006" is commonly called. Touted as a shining example of government's 'aam aadmi' oriented approach, the Forest Rights Act (FRA) aims to restore the rights of forest-dwelling communities to land and other resources which were denied to them under the continuing colonial forest laws which do not take into account the ways of life of tribal communities. It provides for recognition of individual family rights over land it traditionally used which was treated as "encroachment," as well as community rights over land and forest, such as for grazing and forest produce. 

    Over two years after the FRA came into force, a visit to Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh – two of the Naxal-affected states – showed that instead of getting the promised benefits, tribals and forest dwellers are, on the contrary, engaged in a desperate fight to save their home, hearth and source of livelihood. A large number of them face displacement as the land they have lived on for generations is in danger of being handed over to various industrial and mining companies.

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  • Anti-Naxal operations - Army, Ministry differ

    New Delhi : The apex Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) that meets this Thursday to discuss and decide the Home Ministry's rejuvenated plan to deal with the Naxal issue needs to bridge the differences between the Home Ministry and the Armed Forces on the conduct of operations.

    While the CCS paper does not talk about Army or Rashtriya Rifles deployment at any stage at present, the larger picture ultimately has to be addressed by the UPA leadership. It cannot afford to yet again clear a six-line, confused mandate to the Home Ministry, like it cleared at the October 8, 2009, meeting.

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  • Adivasi girls accuse SPOs of rape in Chhattisgarh village

    Two sisters live in a clearing in the forest about 10 km beyond the abandoned houses and empty yards of Mukram village in Chhattisgarh's Dantewada district. A third young girl cowers in the courtyard of her aunt's house in neighbouring Tokanpalli. Between 14 and 18 years of age, Kose, Rame and Hidme (names changed) say they fled their homes in Mukram after they were sexually assaulted by Special Police Officers of the Chhattisgarh Police on May 22 this year.

    "We can't return to Mukram," said Rame, "If they [the SPOs] find us again, they said they would cut my body into pieces and bury it in cement and no one would ever find it."

    Situated in the heart of territory dominated by the Communist Party of India (Maoist), Mukram lies along the only road that links the isolated police camps of Jagargunda, Chintalnar, Chintagupha and Polampalli to National Highway 221. While the road is open to civilian traffic, supplies for the police camps are sent every few months in heavily guarded convoys.

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  • Assam Rifles tipped for Bengal rebel zone

    New Delhi, June 7: The Centre has decided to re-deploy the army-led Assam Rifles from border duties in the Northeast to Bengal, Jharkhand, Orissa and Chhattisgarh in a blueprint that is being drawn up for a renewed stage in the counter-Maoist offensive.

    The re-deployment is contingent on three factors: the situation on the ground wherever the forces are currently deployed, the availability of civil police to replace the units that will be re-deployed and the weather (the onset of the monsoon could make a large-scale redeployment tardy).

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  • Army, Air Force wary of getting involved in anti-Maoist operations

    NEW DELHI: Amid indications that the Army and the Air Force are chary of getting involved, the government will soon take a call on the proposal to give the armed forces a role in tackling the Naxalite problem.

    According to highly placed sources, the Home Ministry has prepared a document, outlining various options in the face of the escalating Maoist insurgency in Chhattisgarh and other parts of the country.

    The document was sent to the Defence Ministry for its views and it is still being reviewed there.

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  • Chhattisgarh village caught in a vortex of violence

    by Aman Sethi

    Rumours swirling around Mukram suggest that this adivasi village in Chhattisgarh's Dantewada district may soon be abandoned. “There is talk of going to Orissa or Andhra [Pradesh],” said a prominent adivasi leader with familial ties here. “It could happen in as little as a week. Villagers say there is too much pressure from both the Maoists and the police.”

    A mid-sized village of about 100 houses, Mukram shot to prominence as the site where an ill-fated company from the 62nd Battalion of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) rested on the night of April 5. At dawn the next day, the company was ambushed by about 300 cadres of the Communist Party of India (Maoist), resulting in the death of 76 security force members.

    In a statement released after the attacks, the CPI(Maoist) praised the efforts of comrade Rukhmati, a Maoist commander and Mukram resident, who was killed in the ambush. On May 11, TheHindu reported the death of Kunjam Suklu, a Mukram resident who, his family members allege, was beaten to death by the CRPF in a fit of retaliatory rage.

    At the time, Dantewada Superintendent of Police Amresh Mishra denied the claims made by the villagers.

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  • “Capitalism most totalitarian ideology ever”

    It is important to win the war in the so-called Maoist areas of the country because a success there will mean the capitalist machine has been stopped. “That gives hope, but, if we lose this, we surrender everything,” Arundathi Roy, Booker Prize winner and activist, said here on Friday.

    Beginning her over 40-minute speech by declaring herself “an independent, non-aligned writer on the side of the resistance,” Ms. Roy went on to lay the problems at the door of capitalism.

    “Capitalism is actually the most totalitarian ideology ever. It cannot tolerate the co-existence of a non-capitalist society and the only non-capitalist society is tribal,” she said at a meeting organised by the Federation Against Internal Repression.

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  • State forced Maoists’ hand: Arundhati Roy

    Ashutosh Shukla / DNA Thursday, June 3, 2010

    Author and activist Arundhati Roy on Wednesday slammed the central government for forcing the tribals to take up arms and called for a re-look at the government’s policy of development.

    Roy, along with journalist Gautam Navlakha, was talking on the subject ‘War on People’ at a press gathering organised by Committee for Protection of Democratic Rights (CPDR).

    The two panned the government and said that it was forcing war on people. “The government is trying to create and fashion an enemy so that it can justify war,” said Roy.

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  • Indian government offers ceasefire to Maoists

    [In this article, the Telegraph (UK) discloses a new governmental ceasefire offer, while repeating the police claim that Maoists were behind the attack on an express sleeper train--a claim that the CPI(Maoist) and PCAPA have denied]

    By Dean Nelson in New Delhi

    Published: 10:41PM BST 02 Jun 2010

    Its offer, made in a letter from home secretary P Chidambaram, emerged just days after a Maoist attack on an express sleeper train from Calcutta to Mumbai left more than 140 passengers dead. Almost all were civilians.

    The Indian government has failed to contain rising violence and Maoist influence has spread to one third of India's 600-plus districts. Prime minister Manmohan Singh has described the insurgency as India's greatest security challenge.

    The Maoists, known as 'Naxalites' in India after Naxalbari, West Bengal where their uprising began in 1967, are now a powerful force in Orissa, Chattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Jharkhand states. Their rebellion is for land reform and to protect tribals and poor farmers forced from their land to make way for mining and other developments.

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