peoples march

from the people against injustice in the society


Posted by ajadhind on December 14, 2009

Asian Age, London edition,
Sanjay Basak
New Delhi

Dec. 6th 2009: Throwing a direct challenge to both the Centre and the West Bengal government, the Maoists for the first time openly organised the foundation day of their military unit, People’s Liberation Guerrilla Army, at Jangalmahal in West Midnapore district on December 2. Armed PLGA members cordoned off the entire area to counter any attack from the security forces. The event, attended by locals from 50 adjacent villages, was addressed by two top Maoist leaders on the run who are operating in the region: Kishenji, alias Kotreswar Rao, a CPI(Maoist) politburo and central committee member; and Rakesh, who heads the outfit’s West Bengal-Jharkhand- Orissa border regional committee.

This has come as a major embarrassment to West Bengal’s Left Front government. Red-faced senior police officials have demanded explanations from the police stations in the area, including that at Lalgarh, over their failure to raid the gathering. Sources said that scared local police personnel, who were aware that the Naxals were meeting in the vicinity, had refused to venture anywhere near them. It is learnt that a sea of red flags could be witnessed at Jangalmahal and neighbouring villages with Maoist cadres singing revolutionary songs.

That the Maoists are rapidly gaining control of areas in West Midnapore became evident with the oufit openly announcing both the date and the venue of the celebration in some of their pamphlets.

Kishenji, addressing the gathering, said: “The PLGA soldiers from now onwards will protect farmers in Lalgarh and Jangalmahal. ” His statement, later circulated by the Maoists to local villagers, said: “Our soldiers, with their arms and ammunition, will be on the paddy fields to protect poor tribals…. This step is being taken as the government has refused to accept our proposal and suspend all operations against us.”

The Maoists claimed they had urged the West Bengal government as well as the joint forces to suspend operations against Maoists for at least a fortnight since this was harvesting time. “Since the joint forces and the state administration refused to accept our demand and continued with their operations, which was preventing farmers from harvesting, armed PLGA members will now be provided to protect poor farmers and to counter the joint forces,” the Maoists declared at the foundation day celebrations.

The state administration is, meanwhile, finding it hard to explain why the police failed to act on information. A senior home department official, however, put the onus entirely on the state’s Marxist government, saying the state’s police had been “completely politicised. ” He added that the “attitude of state police personnel in Naxal-dominated areas in Bengal was more (that) of party cadres than policemen.” There were several such instances of the police “simply refusing to move” despite specific information about Maoists gatherings

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