Fight Back Barbaric State Massacres of Revolutionaries in Andhra Pradesh
Dear friends and comrades,
Over the past one year, the Congress-led UPA Government at the Centre has been unleashing brutal repression on people´s movements all over India. As if to show its true face, on the eve of the completion of one year of the Manmohan-Sonia regime, a specially arranged Chief Ministers´ meet under the chairmanship of the Union Home Minister, Shivraj Patil held on 15th April 2005 declared that internal security of the country arising from the growth of Naxalite Movement is the main threat that the Government has to deal with. The proceedings of this high-level meet that was addressed by the so-called soft-spoken Prime Minister in the harshest of words, clearly indicates a major shift in policy – the invoking of an imagined external threat to "national security" due to the internal threat from the Maoists. The meeting formed a high-level committee with nine Chief Ministers under the leadership of the Union Home Minister. It also decided to allocate huge amounts of financial grants, more battalions of paramilitary forces and more sophisticated arms to "contain" Naxalites (Maoists). It was also announced by the Prime Minister that this committee will meet soon to chalk out a threadbare plan to "contain" the Maoists. This meeting of Chief Ministers truly reflected the panic-stricken response of the reactionary Indian ruling classes to the unity of the struggling masses that is shown in the emergence of the unified Maoist party.
It should be remembered that the UPA government under the leadership of Manmohan Singh is resorting to fascist repression on the people´s movements while rhetorically maintaining that it is a government with a "human face", and in contrast to that of the previous BJP-led NDA Government, it stands for considering the Maoist movement as a "socio-economic" issue and for conducting a dialogue with the Naxalites. However, not only there has there been no change in the policies pursued by the previous NDA government, but there has been an intensified effort to physically eliminate the real opposition to pro-imperialist and reactionary rule of the ruling oligarchies coming from the revolutionary and democratic mass movements in the country.
Manmohan, the blue eyed boy of the World Bank stands with an olive branch in one hand and a dangling dagger in the other. He invites every one who is branded as an extremist for a dialogue. Then, he makes people understand that the dialogue invariably has to mean capitulation to his brand of reactionary politics!
For the first time in the history of the Indian army an official document outlining a counter-insurgency policy has been prepared. It declared that it works on breaking the will of the masses who support insurgents of any kind by harassing the people.
The UPA government´s policies of counter-insurgency, supported by different legal and administrative measures, are similar to those of the previous NDA government. As long as these policies are operative, irrespective of any openly declared statements, the fascist repression on the people continues.
For example, the repeal of POTA by the UPA government has no meaning since it has been reincarnated in the form of the Unlawful Activities (Amendment) of Act, 1965. POTA is resurrected under the magic wand of the Puttaparthy godman´s disciple, Shivraj Patil, the Union Minister for Home Affairs! Some of the clauses included here are even more draconian than the earlier POTA.
Actually the Manmohan Government has been trying to hoodwink the middle classes, democratic intelligentsia and the international community by posing itself as a government with a "human face", and a regime for social justice.
After a brief period of eight months, the government of Andhra Pradesh has not only started enacting stage-managed encounter killings of revolutionaries and their supporters from among the masses, but also initiated all-round fascistic repression on democratic movements and individuals. As part of this, recently the DGP has announced in a press meet that the police are preparing to arrest the three emissaries, Gaddar, Varavara Rao, and Kalyan Rao who represented the CPI (Maoist) during the talks with the government.
The state police machinery began repression in the form of denial of permission to public meetings and unveiling of martyr memorial columns, indiscriminate arrests, tortures, raids on villages and combings just after the first round of talks between the government and the CPI (Maoist) and CPI (ML) (Janashakti). The spate of encounter killings also started in January and within less than 90 days after the first "encounter" on January 6, the state police, particularly the infamous elite police force, Greyhounds, have killed more than 60 activists.
In a gruesome incident, in Nizamabad district, the police poisoned 10 Maoists including the district secretary with the help of a renegade and brutally chopped off their limbs after torturing them before shooting them at point-blank range. The Congress Government portrayed this lynching of the Maoists as a mere act of general policing while reiterating their offer for talks even after strong protests from democrats and people from all over the state against this most inhuman incident. Earlier, Laxmi, a state executive Committee member of Andhra Pradesh Mahila Samakhya, a women´s organisation in the state was picked up from a house and killed in the name of an encounter in Prakasham district after torturing her in a most cruel manner. The police in Andhra Pradesh have been grooming informers, renegades and anti-people gangs in thousands of villages with a view to carry out the most brutal forms of fascist repression that is only comparable to what happened in Nazi Concentration camps in Hitler´s Germany, even while the Government was pretending to hold a dialogue with Maoists.
This growing state violence and repression on the people´s movement is now seeing a new phase with the implication of emissaries of CPI (Maoist) in false cases and illegal detention of family members of some of the people who were killed in the hands of the police in the name of encounters.
Prior to this, the government respected the position of the emissaries and granted them immunity. In fact, this was not a great favour from the government of Andhra Pradesh, as in any conflict, the people who appear as representatives for the contending parties would have that respect and immunity. However, the government of Andhra Pradesh has become so uncivilised and undemocratic that it is targeting the emissaries with a view to arrest them or kill them.
Earlier, at many places their public meetings were disturbed by the police. They were charged on flimsy grounds like "giving provocative speeches" and "exceeding the time permitted for their speeches". After the first round, the police began to target the emissaries and tried to implicate them in a number of false cases. As part of that attempt, the emissaries were charged with "conspiracy to murder" in the cases of murder of a constable in Mahaboobnagar district and attack on Chilakaluripet police station in Guntur district by the Maoists in retaliation for the brutal killing of their comrades by the state forces. The three emissaries have nothing to do with the offences and in both the cases the CPI (Maoist) claimed the responsibility. The emissaries of talks are implicated in these cases deliberately by the government in order to stall the talks and terrorise all those who demand that the government should continue with the dialogue process by ending violence once again.
In Bihar, in Nonpur village, when a school was being constructed by a peasant organization, the police swooped down on the people and destroyed the building and arrested the organizers and implicated them in false criminal cases. In Masaurhi of Patna, the police cracked down on a peasant meeting paying homage to the martyrs of peasants.
The Supreme Court, on 15th April 2002, confirmed the death penalty to four dalits, landless and poor peasants, Kishna Mochi, Bir Kuer Pawan, Dhamendra Singh and Nanche Lal Mochi. These four are from Gaya district of Bihar. In another case, the Supreme Court has confirmed death penalty on Shobhit Chamar, a dalit landless labourer from Bhabua district. He is also accused in the killing of an upper caste landowner in a separate incident. Their mercy petitions have been pending before the President of India. Despite repeated appeals from eminent democrats and people´s strong protests against their hanging, the UPA Government has so far remained silent without advising the President. They may be hanged to death any time though the minority judgement of the Supreme Court acquits them from the case itself.
In a united move, under the close supervision of the Central Government, all the mass rallies in support of the formation of CPI (Maoist) by democrats and their revolutionary supporters in Delhi, Calcutta, Patna and Hyderabad were banned, disturbed, harassed and in Bihar more than 35 leaders of various organizations were arrested in false cases.
In Jharkhand, several thousand people are continuing to face the draconian law POTA even after it was officially repealed by Parliament. Only 80 POTA cases were lifted, after a fact-finding team exposed two years ago the way the POTA was being used in Jharkhand on children and Dalit women. Brutal repression is continuing unabated on the common masses in the state.
In Chhatisgarh and Orissa where people´s movements are going from strength to strength the state is present only through its repressive apparatus.
In Karnataka, the Chief Minister of the Congress Party is targeting the Maoists and unleashing cruel repression on the Adivasis in the Western Ghats in the name of combing operations to nab the Maoists. In a major crack down, the Karnataka police murdered the State Secretary and a central Committee member of CPI (Maoist), Saket Rajan in a fake encounter along with another Maoist activist.
The Maharastra government has stepped up repression in Gadchiroli and surrounding areas where brutal killings have been taking place in the name of encounters. Village after village is reeling under sever repression in this area.
The state repression is being perpetrated not only on the revolutionary masses and organizations. A similar crackdown is going on against any type of democratic mass movement in all corners of the country irrespective of whichever ruling class party is in power. Recently there has been a crack down on even Gandhian-type movements like that of the Narmada movement by the Madhya Pradesh government. In Kashipur, in Orissa, dozens of police camps have been established in a short period in a small aluminium mining area where a number of organizations have been protesting and organizing local people against the mining. The police firing on farmers in Rajastan is another example to show that whether it is the NDA or the UPA, Indian rulers run the same pro-imperialist government.
In West Bengal the left front government has been unleashing brutal repression on the people´s movements whether it is led by the Maoists or Kamtipur people or common workers. The repressive measures are being used with impunity by the CPI (M)-led government on democrats and mass activists even in metropolitan Kolkota. Combing operations, fake encounter killings, and mass-scale torture modelled on the police methods of Andhra Pradesh are being implemented in rural Bengal.
The CPI(M) led left front is not only supporting the UPA government in aggressively implementing liberalisation, privatisation and globalisation but also actively aiding it in formulating and implementing fascistic repressive measures.
In Kashmir and North-eastern regions where national liberation movements are going on for decades the Indian Army has stepped up its use of force. Here also fake encounter killings and state-sponsored massacres have been continuing while the UPA Government under Manmohan Singh promises to hold a dialogue with "secessionists" (read …‘national liberationists´ for official word …‘secessionists´).
The attack on the people´s movements even extends beyond the official borders of the country. More than 100 Nepali Maoists have been illegally arrested and deported to Nepal after the UPA Government took office, including a number of leading committee members of the CPN (Maoist). A Polit Bureau member of CPN (Maoist) has been continuing to languish in Chennai jail for more than two years now. Even if he is punished for the supposed use of a fake passport, he would have been free by now. Along the border with Nepal (which is a free border with India for centuries), the Government of India has beefed up security in the name of preventing Nepali Maoists from entering India. Particularly after King Gyanendra declared an Emergency in Nepal on 1 February 2005 and dissolved the Government, the India Army has started heavy operations along the border, sometimes even crossing to the other side. The unofficial and undeclared occupation of Nepali territory along the border by the Indian Army indicates the expansionist designs in South Asia of the Indian ruling class.
The present onslaught of repression on the people´s movement is part of the global terror unleashed by the imperialists the world over in order to suppress the voices of the people who are rising against aggressive globalisation process under the leadership of American imperialists. Like any other third world government, Indian government also resorts to brutal repression on the people, without which globalisation policies cannot be carried out.
The inhuman atrocities and brutal tortures and killings being perpetrated by the State calls for a response from any sensitive person. Silence means assent. The only answer is more intensified people´s resistance. Hence we appeal to all democratic organisations and people to join to build a sustained movement against the repressive regimes of the Indian reactionary rulers.
20 April, 2005
All Indian People´s Resistance Forum (AIPRF)
Struggling Forum for People´s Resistance (SFPR)
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