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Archive for May 18th, 2007

Maoists call bandh on May 24

Posted by Indian Vanguard on May 18, 2007


Tension is brewing in the border districts of Chandrapur, Gadchiroli and Gondia in eastern Vidarbha region in the wake of the Naxalite bandh, called by the CPI (Maoist) on May 24 in protest against the recent arrest of four alleged Naxalites, including Murali Satya Reddy and Arun Ferreira, at Nagpur last week.

According to reports reaching Nagpur on Friday, Maoists are determined to bring these districts—bordering Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Andhra Pradesh— to a complete standstill on May 24. They have distributed pamphlets and leaflets in this regard and appealed the villagers for ensuring its success.

Anticipating Maoist violence in three troubled districts during the bandh, additional police force is being deployed in the region to tackle the situation. Moreover, police patrolling in all the sensitive areas has also been spruced up in view of possible violence. “We have received the information about the Naxalite designs and are ready to face any eventuality,” asserted Pankaj Gupta, inspector general of police (IGP), anti-Naxalite cell.

The intelligence inputs have also warned that the ultra-leftists can trigger large-scale violence using sophisticated arms and landmine blasts. Maoists are trying to mobilise tribals of these districts by instigating them that police were torturing the alleged Naxalites at Nagpur.

The secretary of North Gadchiroli-Gondia-Balaghat and Rajnandgaon division, Murali, the communication expert of the outfit, Ferreira and two others were arrested by the police in Nagpur when they were trying to hold a secret meeting at Deekshabhoomi on May 8. All are now in police custody and would be sent to Mumbai for the narco-analysis and brain-mapping tests soon.

Hindustan Times

Posted in Maharashtra, NEWS | Leave a Comment »

Cops try to gauge extent of Naxalite spread

Posted by Indian Vanguard on May 18, 2007

Police are also keeping a watch on Arun Ferreira’s wife Jennifer

After the arrest of Bandra resident Arun Ferreira, the Anti-Naxalite unit of the state police is now trying to find out the extent of Naxalite activities in cities across the state.

An officer said Ferreira was “attached” to a city-based group, having strong Naxalite affinities. Ferreira’s wife Jennifer too is under the scanner. Police are keeping tabs on her “activities” to get an idea how pro-Maoist groups are operating in the city and other parts of the state. Last year, the State Intelligence Department had blacklisted 59 city NGOs for funding the Naxalites.

Earlier, officers from the Anti-Naxalite Unit had told DNA that the Maoists operate within cities like Mumbai, Thane and Pune after registering their existence through proxy students and labour organisations.

Ferreira was, however, a member of the Vidyarthi Pragati Sangathana (VPS) that operates from an “undisclosed location” near Byculla. An officer said on Thursday that VPS had kept its activities “skillfully” under wraps. Another organisations that operates in the area is the Akhil Maharashtra Kamgar Union (AMKU), which too has ultra-Left leanings. Ferreira promoted AMKU activities in several parts of the state, another officer said.

“We are trying to find out Ferreira’s links with other fellow comrades across the country,” special inspector general of police (Anti-Naxalite operations) Pankaj Gupta said.Intelligence Bureau officers along with police officers from Chattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh are now interrogating Ferreira about his “nature of work” and other activities.

“Ferreira’s ideological proximity with a few banned underground pro-Naxalite groups has been proved. A few documents seized from him during his arrest are a testimony to this,” said an IB officer.


Posted in Maharashtra, NEWS | Leave a Comment »

Sen’s arrest an example of repression by Chhattisgarh Government, says PUCL

Posted by Indian Vanguard on May 18, 2007

Demonstration for his unconditional release organised in New Delhi

— Photo: Rajeev Bhatt

VOICE FOR VOICELESS: Writer and social activist Arundhati Roy addressing a press conference held against the arrest of Binayak Sen, general secretary, Chhattisgarh PUCL, in New Delhi on Thursday. — Photo: Rajeev Bhatt

NEW DELHI : Alleging that fake encounters in the past two years have claimed the lives of 155 people in Chhattisgarh, members of the People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) on Thursday accused the State Government of subjecting Adivasis to atrocities under the garb of Salwa Judum — a people’s movement against terrorism and naxalism initiated by the Government in June 2005.

The recent arrest of PUCL member Binayak Sen in Chhattisgarh, they said, was an example of the Government’s repression on voices that drew attention to human rights violations.

Members of the PUCL, who organised a demonstration outside the Chhattisgarh Bhavan in the capital on Thursday, have sought Dr. Sen’s unconditional release.

They accused the Government of “framing” Dr. Sen, a paediatrician and the vice-president of the PUCL in Chhattisgarh. He was arrested on May 14 under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 2004, and the Chhattisgarh Special Public Security Act, 2005.

Later addressing a press conference, Harish Dhawan of the People’s Union for Democratic Rights (PUDR) said Dr. Sen had been falsely implicated.

“The State Government has unleashed terror and the police have not yet filed a First Information Report. Threats to PUCL members and Dr. Sen had begun two-and-a-half years ago, because we had begun to draw attention to the large-scale killings, rapes and human rights violation that went unreported.”

Condemning the arrest of Dr. Sen, the former Chief Justice of the Delhi High Court, Justice Rajinder Sachar, said: “PUCL members are committed to non-violence.

“Violence cannot be tolerated; State violence is no less than any other violence. POTA’s draconian laws have been incorporated in the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 2004.”

`Dangerous trend’

Criticising Salwa Judum, noted writer Arundhati Roy said: “What has happened to Dr. Sen is what has been happening to the people of Chhattisgarh; people who are not heard, who have no voices. It all begins with the creation of Salwa Judum. Both the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party are colluding to create a people’s militia and using unemployed people as special protection officers. This is a dangerous trend… which will result in the society becoming militarised.”

Advocate Prashant Bhushan accused the Government of orchestrating “land grabbing” and repressing the Adivasis who raise their voice against this. Joining the PUCL in seeking the release of Dr. Sen were members of the PUDR, Medicos Friend Circle, the National Alliance for People’s Movement, the Socialist Front, Saheli and the Delhi Solidarity Group.

Posted in Chhatisgadh, PUCL | Leave a Comment »

Mayawati will fail in Bihar: Left

Posted by Indian Vanguard on May 18, 2007

PATNA: As far as Bihar Left is concerned, it is not a whit scared of UP CM and BSP leader Mayawati’s “sarvjana mantra” — “Haathi Nahin Ganesh Hai, Brahma, Vishnu, Mahesh Hai…” — that did wonders in her home state and catapulted her to power on her own steam.

However, this might not work in the Left terrain in Bihar. Yet, CPI(ML) and CPI have no imagination and inkling to decipher the murky underground or behind the scene political game that the Maoists allegedly play on the eve of elections. For, for more than past one decade, it has been alleged that the Maoists make hard bargain and “sell” votes in their unassailable base areas for a hefty sum.

By corollary, the Left has no clue if the Maoists would break bread with Mayawati or her party in Bihar. There have been instances of political parties or resourceful contestants, whatever their ideological leanings, purchasing votes from the “Maoist Vote Bank” both in Bihar and Jharkhand, most flagrantly since the 1995 assembly elections.

“Even during the just concluded UP assembly elections, the Maoists bargained with Mayawati’s party in parts of Chandoli, Mughalsarai and Mirzapur districts,” said Bihar CPI(ML) state secretary Nand Kishore Prasad, whose party had fielded 34 candidates in UP and somehow managed to retain its share of votes. Prasad added that former CPI(Maoist) commander Kameshar Baitha contested the Palamu byelection on the BSP ticket and mustered the support of the Maoists, though to end up only as a loser.

Otherwise, both the CPI(ML) and CPI leadership maintained that Mayawati would not have much impact even on the Dalit voters in their own base areas. They, however, added that a section of the Dalits, specially the Ravidas sections, could veer around her party, which, in fact, has been happening for sometime past. The BSP has significant presence in Kaimur, Bhojpur, Rohtas and Buxar districts, Prasad said.

The CPI(ML) confidence comes from the fact that the party synchronised Dalit vision with peasant struggles from 1983, the immediate result of which was the massacres heaped on Dalit villages, most virulently from the Lahsuna massacre in March 1984 in Patna district itself. The underground armed outfit of the CPI(ML) would, however, always retaliate. “The Dalits in Bihar, specially under the influence of our party, are unlikely to shift to Mayawati,” Prasad said.

According to CPI state secretary Badri Narayan Lal, almost all the parties in Bihar have their Dalit leaders. “BSP is a regional party specific to UP. The Bihar situation is different. The CPI has a long phase of struggle against feudal elements. Here, the majority of Left’s members are from the Dalit and weaker sections,” Lal said.

Yet, the CPI has begun to pull up its socks. It held the two-day state Dalit Adhikar Sammelan (Dalit Rights Conference) at Khagaria, beginning April 22. A rally was also held. “Now we are going to decentralise it. Such conferences will be held in districts, too. We are planning the programme,” Lal said. What the CPI(ML) started practising from 1983, CPI has started this year. Mayawati would stand checkmated in the Left terrain, where her “sarvajan mantra” is unlikely to work

The Times of India

Posted in NEWS, Uttar pradesh | Leave a Comment »