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Archive for September 4th, 2007

CPIML Naxalbari press statement on the Indo-US Nuclear deal.

Posted by Indian Vanguard on September 4, 2007

Sending a press statement as text and attachment on the Indo-US Nuclear deal.

———— ———————————————

Press Statement

Abrogate the Indo-US Nuclear Agreement

The de facto recognition of India as a nuclear weapon power is the crux of the Indo-US nuclear agreement. Obviously, it comes with the price tag of locking India into a strategic alignment with the United States of America. All factions of the Indian ruling classes are quite happy with this arrangement. It was initiated by the BJP led NDA and is now being finalised by the Congress led UPA. They are totally unmindful of the dangers thrust upon the people of India by linking this country to the aggressive and occupationist interests of the US. They are equally unconcerned about an acceleration in the nuclear arms race in this region, which will inevitably be promoted by this agreement. The oppositional antics of the BJP, ultimately ending up with concerns over whether the nuclear weapons program will be curbed, revealed this.

Meanwhile, the parliamentary Left tries to dupe people with their protests over possible influences on foreign policy, while maintaining scrupulous silence about the implicit recognition of the nuclear weapons program contained in the agreement. India’s foreign policy has always been (and is) guided by its expansionist interests, subordinated to the push and pulls of imperialist power relations. To separate one from the other is sheer political opportunism.

The main issue posed by this agreement is its blessings to Indian expansionism’ s nuclear ambitions, now being tied up with US strategic interests. This has dangerous consequences, not only for the people of India but also for the whole of South Asia in particular, and Asia in general. This alone demands all out opposition from all progressive sections of society. Furthermore, the hyped up promise of nuclear energy can in no way reduce the gravity of the stockpiling of potential environmental disasters , the dependence caused by the heavy flow of foreign capital it calls for, or the consequent withering away of indigenous technological development.

Hence we demand the immediate and complete abrogation of the Indo-US nuclear agreement and call upon all the people to unite around this just and patriotic cause.

Krantipriya Spokesperson, Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) NAXALBARI September 2, 2007.

Posted in CPI-ML Naxalbari | Leave a Comment »

peopele’s March September 2007 pdf version

Posted by Indian Vanguard on September 4, 2007

Dear friends,

People’s March September 2007 pdf version

Download PM September 2007 pdf

P.Govindan kutty
People’s March

Posted in People's March | Leave a Comment »

What earns blows from cops wins kudos from Maoists

Posted by Indian Vanguard on September 4, 2007

Anjan Chakraborty

KOLKATA, Sept. 3: The attack on the under-construction Reliance Fresh outlet in the city by members of the students’ wing of All India Forward Bloc has earned bouquets from the Maoists in the state.

The CPI-Maoist state leadership has written a letter to the central committee of AIFB, complimenting its students’ wing and daring its senior leadership to follow suit, following the attack. “Alimuddin Street or your chief minister Mr Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee might have been irked by such an act (the attack on the Reliance Fresh outlet) of embarrassment to the favourite corporate houses, but the CPI-Maoist salutes the students who were desperate to break free from the politics of inaction, inertness and appeasement.

How long will you keep your subdued existence in the ‘Left’ Front family with your big brother CPM determined to woo MNCs, World Bank, Indian compradors to loot West Bengal? Your student wing has done a commendable job, but has your organisation played any credible role of a militant Left in the past three decades of ‘Left’ Front rule, uninterruptedly receiving the blessings of World Bank, DFID, MNCs and Indian corporate houses?” the letter questions the leadership of AIFB.

Signed by the CPI-Maoist state committee secretary, the letter, was sent to AIFB central committee on 27 August, ten days after members of the latter’s students’ wing ransacked an under-construction Reliance ‘Fresh’ retail outlet in Girish Park.

Incidentally, even BJP workers had ransacked the same Girish Park outlet on 26 August and members of Trinamul Congress were allegedly involved in a similar attack on another under-construction Reliance ‘Fresh’ outlet near Uttarpara in Hooghly district on 19 August. But, no such ‘letter of appreciation’ was sent to the leadership of either the BJP or the Trinamul Congress from the Maoists side.
While taking a dig at the CPI-M for its “forcible acquisition of peasants’ lands in the name of industrialisation” and the “dirty policy of opening the retail trade to Indian compradors and multinational companies,” the Maoists called on the All India Forward Bloc leadership to: “fight tooth and nail the pro-imperialist, pro-capitalist, pro-rich policies of the so-called Left Front government. However, it is never possible from within the CPM-led ‘Left’ Front government.

“The CPI-Maoist will always make a common cause with you and any other force that really wants to do battle against the criminal forces out to destroy common people….”

The Reliance group had decided to defer roll out of its retail network comprising 145 stores in various parts of the state following the attacks. It had planned to open 50 Reliance Fresh retail outlets in Kolkata, six of which were slated to go on stream soon.

Posted in Retail trade, West Bengal | Leave a Comment »


Posted by Indian Vanguard on September 4, 2007

Source:Peoples March

” According to Government survey no suicides in the month of august 2007. But the report of Vidharba janandolan samithi says that 21 farmers have commited suicide in August 2007 and that occured in a span of 72 hours. Samithi says that the government surveys are biased because of increase in percentage of rejecting the cases [ Rejection is done by a tahasildar if he finds that the reason for suicides of farmer is other than agricultural problems] The rejection percentage has been increased from 61% in last year to 82% in this year, it has been said that the government officials because of orders from senior officers are rejecting the cases so that they can show that the ‘suicide rate’ is declining. ‘to get a clean chit cheat the farmers is their policy’ ” – these interesting , painful, shameful and real facts were revealed in the programme ‘witness’ of NDTV 24×7.

Here is an article by P.Sainath written in feb2006 about the situation of vidarbha

25 February 2006 – Rameshwar Suroshe got his name into three registers after February 9. He clocked in as Entry No. 301 in the “Register of deaths” kept by the Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti. That is, he was the 301st farmer in the region to take his own life since June 2 last year. In the tally of a leading Marathi newspaper, Sakaal, he would figure as No. 278. In the most chilling list of all, he may not merit a number as yet. That is the post-mortems register of the medical centre closest to his village in Yavatmal district.

Suroshe’s death in Nageshwadi was a bit unusual. The small farmer hanged himself. Most farmers killing themselves have swallowed pesticide. So much so that the verdict of death by “poisoning” has become synonymous with farm suicides. And those numbers have been rising in Vidarbha. Not least in Yavatmal. Since September 2005, post-mortem centres in Maharashtra are open 24 hours by government order. Which means that smaller local centres can now take some of the load off the main district hospitals.

The post-mortem centre at the sub-district hospital in Panderkauda — the heart of the cotton country — is a busy one. Here, poison deaths between October and early February were nearly three times the number seen in the same period two years ago. Also, they make up fully 75 per cent of all post-mortems this season. That is, 36 of the 48 post-mortems done so far. Further, the centre here is just one of its kind. There are 16 in the district of Yavatmal. And dozens more across Vidarbha.

Farm suicides have been on in disturbing numbers for some years now in the region. But there has been an ugly spurt since last October. By the end of that month, the price for cotton that farmers were getting sank by Rs.500 a quintal.

Which means Maharashtra’s cotton growers lost some Rs.850 crore on that count alone. The fall came with the Government’s decision to withdraw the “advance bonus” of Rs.500 a quintal. By November, it was clear this would not be restored.
In Panderkauda, poison cases during October-February stood at almost double the number of all post-mortems done in the same period two years ago. The total number of post-mortems has also risen. From 206 in 2003-04, to 223 the next year. With a month and a half still left in the current year, it is past the 210 mark. And this is the worst period. “Of course almost all are small farmers,” says a doctor in this town of the deaths. “There may be some poison cases of a different nature. But then there are also farmers who have hanged or drowned themselves.” He also points out that these are the figures of just one centre in a single district. There are scores of post-mortem centres across Vidarbha.
Meanwhile, the total number of suicides is mounting. “It was clear this would happen once they cut the advance bonus,” says Kishore Tiwari of the Jan Andolan Samiti. It is in the Samiti’s register that Suroshe now resides as No. 301. There have been six more after him. Which brings the tally to 307. This figure only covers deaths reported in the newspapers. So it is not exhaustive. The Government’s own count is 315 since April 1, 2005.

The official figure begins on that date as it sticks to the financial year. The Andolan number starts from June 2 by when the farming season was in full swing. Sakaal goes by the count of its own reporters. The Andolan also keeps logs for two or three years past. The Government has changed its figure on the suicides four times in six months. And always upwards. From 140 to 1,041 State-wide.

The Government admits to 309 farm suicides in Yavatmal alone from 2001 to September last year. That count would now stand at around 400 for the district. Much less than 10 per cent of the families hit by the suicides have got any compensation.
Collapse of cotton economy

The numbers since October are appalling. That month saw 20 farmers take their lives in the region. There were 52 in November, 72 in December, and 68 in January. February is still on. With few signs of a slowdown. The cotton economy has collapsed and most fear there is worse to follow.

Meanwhile a new study adds fresh data to the subject. A team from the Indira Gandhi Institute for Development Research, Mumbai, looked at agrarian distress in Yavatmal, Washim, and Wardha districts. It also studied the larger trends of suicides in Maharashtra. One devastating finding is on the spiral in the State’s SMR or suicide mortality rate. (That is: suicides per 100,000 population.)

“The SMR for male farmers in Maharashtra trebled from 17 in 1995 to 53 in 2004.” In contrast, says the report, for all males in the State, it stabilised at a level of 20 or 21 after 2001. For women it even fell after 1999. Clearly, farmers have taken a huge hit. So much so that it pushes up the State’s overall SMR level. “In 2001, age-adjusted SMR for males was 20.6 in Maharashtra compared to India’s 14.0.”

The SMR for male farmers across Maharashtra is 53. That is nearly four times the national average for all males. In affected districts like Amravati, the figure for male farmers was 140 in 2004. That is, ten times the national average for all males. And seven times the State’s average for males. Vidarbha’s farmers are in deep trouble.
In over two-thirds of the 111 farm suicides the study looked at, those taking their lives were less than 50 years old. They were not novices. Close to 60 per cent had been farmers for over ten years. Two in five had seen matric-level schooling. And four of every five suicides were deaths by poisoning. That is, by drinking pesticide.
Meanwhile, the suicides have spread to the region’s paddy belt. Not as yet in huge numbers. But enough to cause alarm. There have been 24 in the paddy belt of Gondhia, Bhandara, and east Chandrapur since June 2 last year.
Not a paisa of the Government’s Rs.1,075 crore “relief package” has been disbursed so far. “How do those in Mumbai care,” asks Kishore Tiwari. “The suicides have crossed 300. But the SENSEX has crossed 10,000.” ⊕

P Sainath 25 Feb 2006

Posted in Vidarbha | Leave a Comment »

Clear the jails first

Posted by Indian Vanguard on September 4, 2007

There are 250,000 people languishing in jails waiting for the courts to hear their cases. But far from facilitating the release of those who have been detained for years, the amendment to the Criminal Procedure Act is a reversal of many Supreme Court decisions, writes Colin Gonsalves.

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12 August 2007 – The Code of Criminal Procedure (Amendment) Act, 2005 has been welcomed in the national media as heralding the release of 50,000 undertrials many of whom have been languishing in jails for years without their trials even beginning. Nothing could be farther from the truth. The amendment is, in fact, a reversal of the Supreme Court decisions from 1996 onwards in the Common Cause and the Raj Deo Sharma cases.

In the Common Cause cases in 1996, the Supreme Court found that in many cases where the persons were accused of minor offences, proceedings were kept pending for years. The poor languished in jail for long periods because there was no one to bail them out. The criminal justice system operated as an engine of “oppression”. The Supreme Court then directed that, depending on the seriousness of the alleged crime, those in jail for a period of six months to one year would be released either on bail or personal bond, provided their trials were pending for one to two years.

The Supreme Court then issued directions for the closure of cases and the discharge of the accused. Cases where trials had not commenced for specific periods of time were to be closed. Cases relating to corruption, smuggling, terrorism and the like were exempted. It was clarified that the accused would not be permitted to deliberately delay the criminal proceedings and then take advantage of the time limits fixed.

In the Raj Deo Sharma cases in 1998 the Supreme Court referred to its 1980 decision in the Hussainara Khatoon case where the Supreme Court held that “financial constraints and priorities in expenditure would not enable the government to avoid its duty to ensure speedy trial to the accused”. The Court thereafter proceeded to issue guidelines for the closure of prosecution evidence and the release of the accused on bail after a certain period of time. It was clarified that “no trial could be allowed to prolong indefinitely due to the lethargy of the prosecuting agency”.

Despite these directions given by the Supreme Court ten years ago, the criminal courts failed to release persons on bail and close trials.

The law was reviewed by a Constitutional Bench of the Supreme Court in P Ramachandra Rao’s case in 2004 where the directions relating to the closure of cases and the fixing of time limits for trials were set aside saying that it was “neither advisable nor practicable” to do so. As a result, the rot in the criminal justice system deepened and from time to time pathetic stories emerged in the national media on undertrials languishing in jails for decades, but nothing was done.

The present criminal amendment is a reversal of the guidelines laid down in the Common Cause and the Raj Deo Sharma cases, first of all because they do not lay down any time limit for a criminal trial to end. Secondly, whereas in the earlier decision an accused was entitled to be released on bail or personal bond after being in jail for six months to a year depending upon the seriousness of the crime alleged, now that has been enhanced to half the period of possible incarceration i.e. one-and-a-half to three-and-a-half years. If under the earlier decisions of the Supreme Court undertrials were not released there is no reason for us to believe that under a more stringent regime, justice will be done.

The overwhelming majority of those incarcerated are poor, Dalits, Adivasis and Muslims. That the system operates harshly against these sections is an understatement. It operates only against these people.

Friday at the court
Your hands, so warm

There are over 250,000 undertrials languishing in jails even though the law presumes them innocent unless convicted. In many cases despite years going by the trials have not begun. Seven out of every ten persons in jail are in this situation. Overcrowding in jails is routine, in some jails as high as 300 percent. Inmates sleep in shifts. Possibly no country in the democratic world keeps its people behind bars in the manner India does. The overwhelming majority of those incarcerated are poor, Dalits, Adivasis and Muslims. That the system operates harshly against these sections is an understatement. It operates only against these people.

The reluctance of the State to clear the jails of the poor is more by design rather than accident. The arbitrary powers to keep a person confined without a guilty verdict is necessary for a State and its police that rules by terror. The Criminal justice system is not really interested in the determination of truth ensconced in the final verdict, rather it is a massive arbitrary system of preventive detention where the ultimate verdict is of no concern as long as the accused picked up by the police languish many years in jail prior to acquittal. Those who criticise the State for the low rate of conviction miss this point; that conviction was never the intention of the police in the first place. This accounts for the sloppy state of forensic investigation and the reliance placed on the lathi over the law.

The other changes brought about by the criminal amendment are also equally vague or dangerous. The amendment in 50-A of the CrPC introduces the Supreme Court’s guidelines in DK Basu’s case but leaves out the crucial element of giving notice to the family of the person being arrested in writing. This was important because the police routinely lie about giving notice verbally. The amendment to Section 53 is positively dangerous because it seeks to introduce in a sly manner lie detector and narco-analysis tests as admissible in evidence.

In most democratic countries these tests are deemed to be of dubious merit and are not admissible. The amendment to Section 122 seeks to strengthen police power in chapter cases by incarcerating people purely on the basis of suspicion. As the law stands today such persons are to be released on them signing a bond for good behaviour. Now the magistrate will be empowered to ask for sureties which is complicated and difficult for the accused to obtain.

Thousands of poor people are languishing in jail under this Section. Section 291-A is designed to prevent the magistrate who supervises the test identification parade, the cornerstone of a criminal trial, from being summoned to give evidence in court. These are the negative changes sought to be introduced by the criminal amendment. A better way out for the State is to declare an amnesty and to clear the jails of 100,000 poor prisoners on Independence Day.

Colin Gonsalves
12 Aug 2007

This article is reproduced from Volume 6, Issue 4 of Combat Law, through Space Share, our collaborative program for other publishers. The entire set of articles in this issue can be found on this page.

Source: India together

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The Naxal Code

Posted by Indian Vanguard on September 4, 2007

Vernon Gonsalves alias Vikram and (right) Sreedhar alias Vishnu

The two suspected Naxalites arrested on August 19 have revealed the code names and activities of over 100 accomplices operating from Mumbai, Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) officials have said. Srinivasan alias Sreedhar alias Vishnu, 50, and Vernon Gonsalves alias Vikram, 49, told the ATS that these accomplices include professors, advocates, social activists and members of trade unions. They reportedly meet in groups of 4 to 5 persons in public places such as railway stations and corporate cafeterias to discuss fund-raising and potential recruits to their cause.

However, no one in the group knows anyone’s real name or other details. So, if anyone was arrested, police would find it difficult to trace his/her accomplices.

An ATS officer who did not wish to be named said, “Vishnu and Vernon told us that in their organisation real identities are a top secret. Everyone knew each other only by code names.”

According to ATS chief additional director general K P Raghuvanshi, “This is how underground organisations like these operate. The duo have revealed some code names, which we expect to decipher soon. However, it is likely that these people would have rehashed their code names after the duo’s arrest.”

Professors, advocates, social activists, trade unionists
Railway stations, company cafeteria
Fund-raising, potential recruits to their cause
Illustration by Sudhir Shetty

Apparently, the duo told the police that Naxal activists from across India are deputed to the city for five years.

According to the ATS officer, “The main purpose is to raise funds for their cause and recruit new individuals to their group.”

When they meet, among other things, they discuss potential recruits, their traits, strengths, weaknesses and ways to brainwash them into joining their group. “Most of these Naxal activists are not from Mumbai and have taken up temporary jobs in the city,” the officer said.

Vishnu and Vikram were picked up from a rented accommodation at Govandi. A revolver, a pistol, 106 CDs, Rs 6 lakh, a laptop, walkie-talkies and mobile phones, a few gelatine sticks, revolutionary literature and photographs of Naxal training camps in Maharashtra were seized from the duo.

The duo had been remanded to the custody of the ATS for 14 days till Sunday.

On Monday, they are likely to be handed over to the Gadchiroli police who are investigating Vishnu for extortion and theft. He is also wanted for in connection with the murders of policemen and informants while Vikram is wanted for an attempt to blow up a police van with a landmine and firing at a police party, and other unlawful activities.

Posted in Maharashtra | Leave a Comment »