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Dr Binayak Sen’s Statement to the Court

Posted by ajadhind on December 31, 2010

ICAWPI

I am a trained medical doctor with a specialization in child health. I completed my MBBS from the Christian Medical College, Vellore in 1972, and completed studies leading to the award of the degree of MD (Paediatrics) of the Madras University, from the same institution in 1976. After this, I joined the faculty of the Centre for Social Medicine and Community Health at the Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi and worked there for two years, before leaving to join a field based health programme at the Friends Rural Centre, Rasulia in Hoshangabad, MP. During the two years I worked there, I worked intensively in the diagnosis and treatment of Tuberculosis and understood many of the social and economic causes of disease. I was also strongly influenced by the work of Marjorie Sykes, the biographer of Mahatma Gandhi, who lived at the Rasulia centre at that time.

I came to Chhattisgarh in 1981 and worked upto 1987 at Dalli Rajhara (district Durg), where, along with the late Shri Shankar Guha Niyogi and the workers of the Chhattisgarh Mines Shramik Sangh, I helped to establish the Shaheed Hospital, that continues to practice low cost and rational medicine for the adivasis and working people of the surrounding areas upto the present. After leaving Dalli Rajhara, I worked to develop a health programme among the Adivasi population in and around village Bagrumnala, which today is in Dhamtari district.

This work depended on a large group of village based health workers who were trained and guided by me. When the new state of Chhattisgarh was formed, I was appointed a member of the advisory group on Health Care Sector reforms, and helped to develop the Mitanin programme, which in turn, became the role model for the ASHA of the National Rural Health Mission. A copy of the Order of the Department of Health and Family Welfare of the Govt. of Chhattisgarh regarding my nomination to the advisory group mentioned above is attached. (Annexure 1.)

My work in the area of community health, as well as my work on Human Rights which is detailed below, has been nationally and internationally recognized. I have been awarded the Paul Harrison Award by the CMC Vellore in 2004; the RR Keithan Gold medal by the Indian Academy of Social Sciences in 2007; and have received the Jonathan Mann award for Health and Human rights from the Global Health Council in 2008. I am attaching notarized copies of the citations of these awards with this statement, and am carrying the originals for the perusal of the court. (Annexures 2, 3, 4 and 5)

I have been a member of the Peoples’ Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) since 1981. The PUCL is an organization devoted to the preservation of constitutional civil liberties and human rights that was founded by the late Shri Jayprakash Narayan during the years of the Emergency. In Chhattisgarh, as well as in many other parts of the country, the PUCL led the campaign for the preservation of the freedom of speech, prevention of custodial violence, and for the public accountability of the police. I became General Secretary of the Chhattisgarh unit of the PUCL in 2004, and am currently the President of the State unit, and Vice President of its National body.

In Chhattisgarh, the PUCL has been in the forefront of exposing the atrocities of the police. Atrocities by men in uniform against vulnerable sections continue to be a serious problem in the state, as the front page news item in the “Sunday Times” dated 12th September 2010, annexed hereto as Annexure 6 shows. In this situation PUCL’s efforts were always directed towards the establishment of good governance and constitutional values. PUCL findings and investigations were always made available in the public domain through press releases and its own publications. One such Press Release reporting investigation into police atrocities in Village Jiramtarai, Thana Koylibeda is annexed hereto as Annexure 7. The report of one such investigation pertaining to police atrocities in Katgaon (Kanker district) was published in the “Navbharat” and “Deshbandhu” newspapers which are annexed hereto as Annexure 8and 9 respectively. A PUCL publication on the State of Human Rights in Chhattisgarh is appended to this statement. (Annexure 10). In this connection PUCL regularly corresponded with the National and State Human Rights Commissions. Copies of some of the letters sent to the PUCL by the National Human Rights Commission (collectively) and the State Human Rights Commission are attached to this statement. (Annexure 11 and 12)

Apart from investigating and documenting many cases of Human Rights abuse involving the police, the PUCL has acted as a whistleblower in the matter of exposing the true nature of the Salwa Judum. The Salwa Judum, which began in the Dantewada district in 2005, has been represented by the state government as a spontaneous peoples’ movement against the Maoists active in the area. However, an investigation led by the PUCL and involving several other Human Rights organizations revealed that it was in reality a state sponsored and state funded as well as completely unaccountable vigilante force, to which arms were provided by the government. The activities of the Salwa Judum have led to the emptying of more than 600 villages, and the forced displacement of over 60,000 people. Concerns regarding the activities of the Salwa Judum have been expressed by several independent organizations including the National Human Rights Commission. International organizations like the UNICEF have also voiced serious concern and have invited me to dialogue with them about the restoration of normalcy in the region affected by Salwa Judum. The Hon’ble Supreme Court has also, on several occasions, expressed its grave concern over the activities of the Salwa Judum and the deployment of armed vigilantes for the promotion of state policy. This has been widely reported in the press. A Table with an indicative list of agencies that have made critical observations on the Salwa Judum is attached (Annexure 13). A copy of the report on the Salwa Judum by the Chhattisgarh PUCL and other organizations (Annexure 14), and copies of the investigation reports on the Salwa Judum brought out by the Independent Citizens Initiative and Asian Centre for Human Rights are being filed along with this statement (Annexure 15 and 16 respectively). An invitation from the UNICEF, Chhattisgarh Regional Office to participate in a dialogue to seek a resolution to the crisis in Dantewada as a fallout of the Salwa Judum is similarly attached to my statement (Annexure 17).Press reports in the Hitavada, dated 23.10.2010 pertaining to the Hon. Supreme Court’s critical observations are attached (Annexure no 29), as are Certified copies of Supreme Court orders that make critical observations on the Salwa Judum are also being attached (Annexure 18)

The PUCL has also, during 2006, organized two major conventions, opposing the proposal to enact the Chhattisgarh Special Public Security Act, because it has been, and continues to be, our view that this Act contravenes the civil liberties assured to us in the constitution. I have expressed these views in the Press as well, and am attaching with this submission a copy of newspaper carrying a press report of such a convention (Annexure 19), as well as a copy of the newspaper “Chhattisgarh” dated 30th March 2006 in which my interview appears in this regard. (Annexure 20) A Civil Writ Petition (Writ Petition No 2163/2009) challenging the vires of the Chhattisgarh Special Public Security Act has been filed by the PUCL in the Chhattisgarh High Court. Certified copies of the Court orders admitting this petition and issuing notice are being filed along with this statement (Annexure 21).

For all the reasons mentioned above, the Chhattisgarh police and the state government have harboured a grudge against me, and the then DGP of Chhattisgarh, Mr OP Rathore, has gone on record threatening to take action against the PUCL and its office bearers. Copies of a newspaper of 3rd January 2006 carrying a report to this effect are attached to my statement. (Annexure 22)

I have been concerned with the rights of prisoners in my capacity as a Human Rights worker and was approached by the family of Mr Narayan Sanyal to look after his health and well being after he was brought to Raipur jail in 2006. My first visit to him in jail was in the company of his family and lawyer. Subsequently, I obtained permission from the police authorities for visiting him in jail, and visited him several times, each time applying to do so in my capacity as a PUCL office bearer. After my visits, I informed his family members about his condition over the telephone. During the course of these visits, it was brought to my notice that the surgery on his hands that was necessary for medical purposes, was being delayed due to communication problems between the jail and the doctors in the Raipur Medical College. I played a role in facilitating his surgery and kept his family informed about the process. During this period there was considerable correspondence between the prisoner’s family, jail administration and medical authorities, of which copies were marked to me. I attach along with this statement copies of the letter written by Mr Radha Madhav Sanyal (brother of Narayan Sanyal) to the Jail Superintendent with a copy to me (Annexure 23); copies of my applications to visit Mr Narayan Sanyal in jail which were obtained through an application under the RTI (Annexure 24); copy of the written permission given to me by Shri BS Maravi, Senior Superintendent of Police, Raipur (Annexure 25) and copies of the correspondence from the Jail authorities to the medical doctors mentioned above with copies marked to me (Annexure 26).

It was with similar concern for the situation of prisoners that I acted upon the letter received in the post from one Madanlal Barkhade about prison conditions in the Raipur Central Jail. I released his letter to the press in Raipur and attach the newspaper in which the aforesaid letter was published. (Annexure 27)

The documents seized from my house during the house search on 19.5.2007 were those of concern to me in the ordinary and transparent conduct of my work. Human rights organizations from all over the country used to send me books, pamphlets and documents, and there were thousands of these lying in my residence, which I also used as my office. None of the seized documents had been secretly or clandestinely obtained. Document No. A 19 was sent to me by post by Shri Govindan Kutty, Editor, Peoples’ March. Document no A 20, purported to be written by Madanlal Barkhade was similarly received by me in the regular post. The document A 21 was sent to me by Dr Kalpana Kannabiran, one of the authors of the article, then Professor at the National Law School Hyderabad, by e-mail. Article A 22, photocopy of a hand written document, and Articles A 23 and A 36 were available for distribution at a seminar on the Salwa Judum organized by the Nelson Mandela Centre for Peace and Conflict Resolution, Jamia Milia Islamia, New Delhi in January, 2007, to which I was invited , and were picked up by me there. Article A 24 was received by me in the post. Newspaper clippings A 25 to A 35 are newspaper clippings that I had maintained in furtherance of my interest in the emerging situation in Chhattisgarh.

Several policemen in the search party were involved in the process of the search at my house. Having found a document, the person finding it would hand it over to Mr Rajput. Mr Rajput would first read it, and then hand it over to me for my signature. He would also sign it himself. After we had both put our signatures on the document, he would dictate to TI Jagrit what was to be written in the seizure memo. Mr Jagrit would then make the entry, following which Mr Rajput would then hand over the document to Mr Jagrit. In this manner, each document was seized, signed, and entered in the seizure memo. None of the documents were signed by the public witnesses in my presence. Nor were the documents sealed in my presence. At the end of the search process the documents were carried away in a paper bag in an unsealed condition. Document A37 was never received by me to sign. It was not in my office, and was not seized during the search. It was fabricated after the search by the police to implicate me falsely.

When the challan in my case was filed, my advocate, Mr Amit Banerjee was present in court and received the chargesheet on my behalf. A copy of the chargesheet is annexed hereto as Annexure 28. Upon going through the charegesheet, we noticed that in the copies of articles A 19 to A 24, the signatures of the panch witnesses were not present in the documents. Copies of articles A 25 to A 37 were not supplied to us at the time. Despite a court order, the contents of the computer were copied onto DVDs without the presence of my advocate, and only DVDs of selected material from the computer were supplied later during the course of the trial. Out of the DVDs supplied, three relate to investigation of police atrocities / fake encounters in Golapally, Jiramtarai and Katgaon. My images on these tapes are in conversation with the villagers who are affected by these atrocities.

I have never seen Deepak Chaubey (PW7) until the time he testified in the court. I did not introduce Narayan Sanyal to him and his story that Narayan Sanyal was arrested from his house is patently untrue as, in fact, Sanyal was arrested in Bhadrachalam.

I submit that my prosecution is malafide; in fact it is a persecution. I am being made an example of by the state government of Chhattisgarh as a warning to others not to expose the patent trampling of human rights taking place in the state. Documents have been fabricated by the police and false witnesses introduced in order to falsely implicate me.

Binayak Sen.

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Of luxury cars and lowly tractors

Posted by ajadhind on December 29, 2010

P. Sainath
Even as the media celebrate the Mercedes Benz deal in the Marathwada region as a sign of “rural resurgence,” the latest data show that 17,368 farmers killed themselves in the year of the “resurgence.”
When businessmen from Aurangabad in the backward Marathwada region bought 150 Mercedes Benz luxury cars worth Rs. 65 crore at one go in October, it grabbed media attention. The top public sector bank, State Bank of India, offered the buyers loans of over Rs. 40 crore. “This,” says Devidas Tulzapurkar, president of the Aurangabad district bank employees association, “at an interest rate of 7 per cent.” A top SBI official said the bank was “proud to be part of this deal,” and would “continue to scout for similar deals in the future.”
The value of the Mercedes deal equals the annual income of tens of thousands of rural Marathwada households. And countless farmers in Maharashtra struggle to get any loans from formal sources of credit. It took roughly a decade and tens of thousands of suicides before Indian farmers got loans at 7 per cent interest — many, in theory only. Prior to 2005, those who got any bank loans at all shelled out between 9 and 12 per cent. Several were forced to take non-agricultural loans at even higher rates of interest. Buy a Mercedes, pay 7 per cent interest. Buy a tractor, pay 12 per cent. The hallowed micro-finance institutions (MFIs) do worse. There, it’s smaller sums at interest rates of between 24 and 36 per cent or higher.
Starved of credit, peasants turned to moneylenders and other informal sources. Within 10 years from 1991, the number of Indian farm households in debt almost doubled from 26 per cent to 48.6 per cent. A crazy underestimate but an official number. Many policy-driven disasters hit farmers at the same time. Exploding input costs in the name of ‘market-based prices.’ Crashing prices for their commercial crops, often rigged by powerful traders and corporations. Slashing of investment in agriculture. A credit squeeze as banks moved away from farm loans to fuelling upper middle class lifestyles. Within the many factors driving over two lakh farmers to suicide in 13 years, indebtedness and the credit squeeze rank high. (And MFIs are now among the squeezers).
What remained of farm credit was hijacked. A devastating piece in The Hindu (Aug. 13) showed us how. Almost half the total “agricultural credit” in the State of Maharashtra in 2008 was disbursed not by rural banks but by urban and metro branches. Over 42 per cent of it in just Mumbai — stomping ground of large corporations rather than of small farmers.
Even as the media celebrate our greatest car deal ever as a sign of “rural resurgence,” the subject of many media stories, comes the latest data of the National Crime Records Bureau. These show a sharp increase in farm suicides in 2009 with at least 17,368 farmers killing themselves in the year of “rural resurgence.” That’s over 7 per cent higher than in 2008 and the worst numbers since 2004. This brings the total farm suicides since 1997 to 216,500. While all suicides have multiple causes, their strong concentration within regions and among cash crop farmers is an alarming and dismal trend.
The NCRB, a wing of the Union Home Ministry, has been tracking farm suicide data since 1995. However, researchers mostly use their data from 1997 onwards. This is because the 1995 and 1996 data are incomplete. The system was new in 1995 and some big States such as Tamil Nadu and Rajasthan sent in no numbers at all that year. (In 2009, the two together saw over 1,900 farm suicides). By 1997, all States were reporting and the data are more complete.
The NCRB data end at 2009 for now. But we can assume that 2010 has seen at least 16,000 farmers’ suicides. (After all, the yearly average for the last six years is 17,104). Add this 16,000 to the total 2,16,500. Also add the incomplete 1995 and 1996 numbers — that is 24,449 suicides. This brings the 1995-2010 total to 2,56,949. Reflect on this figure a moment.
It means over a quarter of a million Indian farmers have committed suicide since 1995. It means the largest wave of recorded suicides in human history has occurred in this country in the past 16 years. It means one-and-a-half million human beings, family members of those killing themselves, have been tormented by the tragedy. While millions more face the very problems that drove so many to suicide. It means farmers in thousands of villages have seen their neighbours take this incredibly sad way out. A way out that more and more will consider as despair grows and policies don’t change. It means the heartlessness of the Indian elite is impossible to imagine, leave alone measure.
Note that these numbers are gross underestimates to begin with. Several large groups of farmers are mostly excluded from local counts. Women, for instance. Social and other prejudice means that, most times, a woman farmer killing herself is counted as suicide — not as a farmer’s suicide. Because the land is rarely in a woman’s name.
Then there is the plain fraud that some governments resort to. Maharashtra being the classic example. The government here has lied so many times that it contradicts itself thrice within a week. In May this year, for instance, three ‘official’ estimates of farm suicides in the worst-hit Vidarbha region varied by 5,500 per cent. The lowest count being just six in four months (See “How to be an eligible suicide,” The Hindu, May 13, 2010).
The NCRB figure for Maharashtra as a whole in 2009 is 2,872 farmers’ suicides. So it remains the worst State for farm suicides for the tenth year running. The ‘decline’ of 930 that this figure represents would be joyous if true. But no State has worked harder to falsify reality. For 13 years, the State has seen a nearly unrelenting rise. Suddenly, there’s a drop of 436 and 930 in 2008 and 2009. How? For almost four years now, committees have functioned in Vidarbha’s crisis districts to dismiss most suicides as ‘non-genuine.’ What is truly frightening is the Maharashtra government’s notion that fixing the numbers fixes the problem.
Yet that problem is mounting. Perhaps the State most comparable to Maharashtra in terms of population is West Bengal. Though its population is less by a few million, it has more farmers. Both States have data for 15 years since 1995. Their farm suicide annual averages in three-five year periods starting then are revealing. Maharashtra’s annual average goes up in each period. From 1,963 in the five years ending with 1999 to 3,647 by 2004. And scaling 3,858 by 2009. West Bengal’s yearly average registers a gradual drop in each five-year period. From 1,454 in 1999 to 1,200 in 2004 to 1,014 by 2009. While it has more farmers, its farm suicide average for the past five years is less than a third of Maharashtra’s. The latter’s yearly average has almost doubled since 1999.
The share of the Big 5 ‘suicide belt’ States — Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh — remains close to two-thirds of all farm suicides. Sadly 18 of 28 States reported higher farm suicide numbers in 2009. In some the rise was negligible. In others, not. Tamil Nadu showed the biggest increase of all States, going from 512 in 2008 to 1060 in 2009. Karnataka clocked in second with a rise of 545. And Andhra Pradesh saw the third biggest rise — 309 more than in 2008. A few though did see a decline of some consequence in their farm suicide annual average figures for the last six years. Three — Karnataka, Kerala and West Bengal — saw their yearly average fall by over 350 in 2004-09 compared to the earlier seven years.
Things will get worse if existing policies on agriculture don’t change. Even States that have managed some decline across 13 years will be battered. Kerala, for instance, saw an annual average of 1,371 farm suicides between 1997 and 2003. From 2004-09, its annual average was 1016 — a drop of 355. Yet Kerala will suffer greatly in the near future. Its economy is the most globalised of any State. Most crops are cash crops. Any volatility in the global prices of coffee, pepper, tea, vanilla, cardamom or rubber will affect the State. Those prices are also hugely controlled at the global level by a few corporations.
Already bludgeoned by the South Asian Free Trade Agreement (SAFTA), Kerala now has to contend with the one we’ve gotten into with ASEAN. And an FTA with the European Union is also in the offing. Kerala will pay the price. Even prior to 2004, the dumping of the so-called “Sri Lankan pepper” (mostly pepper from other countries brought in through Sri Lanka) ravaged the State. Now, we’ve created institutional frameworks for such dumping. Economist Professor K. Nagaraj, author of the biggest study of farm suicides in India, says: “The latest data show us that the agrarian crisis has not relented, not gone away.” The policies driving it have also not gone away.

Posted in ANDHRAPRADESH, CHHATISGARH, IN NEWS, KARNATAKA, MADHYAPRADESH, MAHARASHTRA | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

17,368 farm suicides in 2009

Posted by ajadhind on December 29, 2010

source – hindu

MUMBAI: At least 17,368 Indian farmers killed themselves in 2009, the worst figure for farm suicides in six years, according to data of the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB). This is an increase of 1,172 over the 2008 count of 16,196. It brings the total farm suicides since 1997 to 2,16,500. The share of the Big 5 States, or ‘suicide belt’ — Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh — in 2009 remained very high at 10,765, or around 62 per cent of the total, though falling nearly five percentage points from 2008. Maharashtra remained the worst State for farm suicides for the tenth successive year, reporting 2,872. Though that is a fall of 930, it is still 590 more than in Karnataka, second worst, which logged 2,282 farm suicides.
Economist K. Nagaraj, author of the biggest study on Indian farm suicides, says, “That these numbers are rising even as the farmer population shrinks, confirms the agrarian crisis is still burning.”
Maharashtra has logged 44,276 farm suicides since 1997, over a fifth of the total 2,16,500. Within the Big 5, Karnataka saw the highest increase of 545 in 2009. Andhra Pradesh recorded 2,414 farm suicides — 309 more than in 2008. Madhya Pradesh (1,395) and Chhattisgarh (1,802) saw smaller increases of 16 and 29. Outside the Big 5, Tamil Nadu doubled its tally with 1,060, against 512 in 2008. In all, 18 of 28 States reported higher farm suicide numbers in 2009. Some, like Jammu and Kashmir or Uttarakhand, saw a negligible rise. Rajasthan, Kerala and Jharkhand saw increases of 55, 76 and 93. Assam and West Bengal saw higher rises of 144 and 295. NCRB farm data now exist for 13 years. In the first seven, 1997-2003, there were 1,13,872 farm suicides, an average of 16,267 a year. In the next six years 1,02,628 farmers took their lives at an average of 17,105 a year. This means, on average, around 47 farmers — or almost one every 30 minutes — killed themselves each day between 2004 and 2009.
Lower their average
Among the major States, only a few including Karnataka, Kerala and West Bengal avoided the sharp rise these six years and lowered their average by over 350 compared to the 1997-2003 period. In the same period, the annual average of farm suicides in the Big 5 States as a whole was more than 1,650 higher than it was in 1997-2003.

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Narayan Sanyal arrest, charges a weak link in Binayak Sen case

Posted by ajadhind on December 29, 2010

source – hindu

Raipur: Narayan Sanyal is a 74-year-old man with white hair parted to one side and fibromatosis in both hands. His arrest memo notes that he wears dentures, has spots on his body and smokes cigarettes. “My health is not going well, arthritis is a new thing catching up, age is telling,” he writes in a letter addressed to a ‘Dear friend V’. This letter and two others became crucial evidence in the conviction last week of Mr. Sanyal, Kolkata businessman Pijush Guha and eminent doctor and human rights activist Binayak Sen.
Behind their conviction lies a curious paradox to which Chhattisgarh Police have never given a satisfactory answer: Why was Mr. Sanyal — whose Maoist connections led to charges against the co-accused in the first place — himself never charged with sedition or conspiracy to wage war or even with belonging to or supporting an unlawful organisation until well after Dr. Sen’s arrest under those serious offences?
On December 24, Justice B. P. Verma of Raipur’s Additional District and Sessions Court held that Mr. Sanyal was the key figure in a criminal conspiracy to commit sedition along with Mr. Guha and Dr. Sen and sentenced all three to life imprisonment. Mr. Sanyal was sentenced to an additional 10 years for belonging to the banned Communist Party of India (Maoist).
The Judge held that Mr. Sanyal wrote three letters (including the one mentioned above) and passed them on to Dr. Sen, who gave them to Mr. Guha. Apart from ruminations on Mr. Sanyal’s health, the letters castigate an unnamed associate for failing to maintain regular contact, congratulate others for completing the ninth congress and urge the reader to concentrate on propaganda as “propaganda is overwhelming people. They are able to influence conceptions and thinking, knowing that they are corrupt and anti-people”.
Mr. Sanyal is frequently described as a “Maoist ideologue” in newspapers and is believed to have joined Charu Mazumdar’s CPI (Marxist-Leninist) in the late 1960s. However, the police have struggled to pin him down on any specific charges until this most recent case.
It is known that Dr. Sen visited Mr. Sanyal 33 times in the Raipur Central Jail in his capacity as a doctor and Chhattisgarh Secretary of the People’s Union for Civil Liberties. But why was Mr. Sanyal imprisoned at all?
On December 27, The Hindu reported on the mysterious circumstances around Mr. Guha’s arrest. Now witness testimonies in the Binayak Sen case also suggest that the Andhra Pradesh and Chhattisgarh police colluded to arrest and illegally detain Mr. Sanyal.
In the Binayak Sen case, the prosecution sought to establish an acquaintance between Dr. Sen and Mr. Sanyal prior to the latter’s arrest. Prosecution witness Deepak Choubey testified that he rented out his father-in-law’s house in 2005 at Daulat Estate, Dangiya, in Raipur to Mr. Sanyal at the behest of Dr. Sen for Rs.1,500 a month. But then he also went on to say something which was at odds with the official narrative. “In January 2006, I went to collect the rent when my neighbour told me that my house was raided by the Andhra Pradesh Police who arrested Mr. Sanyal,” said Mr. Choubey.
On January 2, 2006, Hindi newspaper Dainik Bhaskar carried a story dated Jan. 1 under the headline “Prominent Naxali leader held in Dangiya?” The story did not offer any sources but claimed that a joint police team from A.P. and Chhattisgarh raided a house in Daulat Estate, Dangiya, and arrested Comrade Prasad alias Vijay, a politburo member of the banned CPI (Maoist), who had come to Raipur for medical treatment. The report stated that the A.P. Police team had arrived in Raipur on December 28, 2005.
The same day, Mr. Sanyal’s brother Radhamadhab Mohan filed a habeas corpus petition in the Bilaspur High Court alleging that his brother had been arrested by the A.P. Police on December 28, 2005, when he came to Raipur to seek medical treatment. In Delhi, the People’s Union for Democratic Rights issued a press release about the arrest and The Hindu carried a news item to this effect on December 30, 2005.
In their submission dated January 6, 2006, the Chhattisgarh Police denied any knowledge of Mr. Sanyal’s whereabouts and denied that he had been arrested in Raipur. In a fax message dated January 5, 2006, the A.P. Police claimed that Mr. Sanyal alias N. Prasad alias Vijay had been arrested on January 3 that year at the Bhadrachalam bus stand in A.P.’s Khamam district, found to be in possession of a 9-mm pistol and six live cartridges, and arrested under the Arms Act.
The police did not produce a charge sheet and so, after 90 days of custody, Mr. Sanyal was released on statutory bail on April 4, 2006, from Bhadrachalam, only to be arrested 70 km away at Konta in Chhattisgarh’s Dantewada district on April 7, 2006, and charged with the murder of one Hungaram Markam in 2005. Soon after, Mr. Sanyal was shifted to Raipur, where he has been since.
“Every witness has turned hostile in the Konta case,” said Mr. Hashim Khan, Mr. Sanyal’s lawyer. “The only person left to be examined is Investigating Officer Vijay Thakur, who has refused to appear in court for three years and so the case drags on.” In 2008, Dr. Sen’s lawyers filed a bail petition in the Supreme Court in which they pointed out that while Dr. Sen had been accused of aiding the banned CPI (Maoist), Mr. Sanyal had been arrested for murder under Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code and was not even charged with any Maoist-related crimes under the Chhattisgarh Special Public Security Act, 2005, or the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act 1967.
Soon after the bail application was filed, additional charges were slapped on to Mr. Sanyal’s case. “The police know that they can’t keep Sanyal in jail using the Konta case,” said Mr. Khan, “so they have manufactured the Binayak Sen case to ensure that he remains behind bars.”

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Pranab links Naxal rise to denial of rights, lack of development

Posted by ajadhind on December 29, 2010

source – indian express
Admitting that successive governments had failed to adequately address the concerns of the people in backward and tribal regions, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee today said corrective steps were required to ensure that the rise of Naxalism in these areas was checked.
Speaking at the annual day function of the CRPF here, Mukherjee said while Naxalite groups needed to be dealt with “firmly” and “resolutely”, the armed offensive must be “dovetailed” with development initiatives.
“The rise of left-wing extremism in the backward areas of the country is, in a way, a reflection of our failure in meeting the expectations of the local people. It is easy to misguide people who have been denied their legitimate demands or deprived of their rights and where the state has not shown adequate sensitivity in sharing and mitigating the local concerns,” Mukherjee said.

Addressing the personnel of the CRPF, that is doing the bulk of the fighting against Naxalite groups, Mukherjee said while the use of force was necessary to bring back normalcy in these areas, so that “correctives” could be applied, they should act with “sensitivity, patience and maturity”.
“It is vital to dovetail the developmental efforts of the State in these areas with your operational strategy and practice. While we should be firm, decisive and unrelenting in dealing with the armed component of the extremism, a great degree of sensitivity, patience and maturity will have to be exhibited in dealing with the general population in the affected areas,” he said.
“I urge you to handle the situation with sensitivity and a firm resolve with a view to bring back the disgruntled elements of the society into the mainstream of developmental process,” he said.

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Maoists condemn life sentence for Binayak Sen

Posted by ajadhind on December 29, 2010

source – DNA

Condemning the life sentence given to rights activist Binayak Sen by a Raipur court, the Maoists today warned the Central government of more attacks in the coming year.
“The life imprisonment of Binayak Sen shows the real face of the Indian government. If Binayak Sen is charged with treason then all citizens should be charged with it,” a letter undersigned by Maoist spokesperson Bikram said.
Taking responsibility for the killing of seven Forward Block supporters ten days ago and a COBRA personnal in Purulia district, the letter said, “This is our answer to Operation Greenhunt. We take the full responsibility for the killings.”
The letter warned that if the anti-Maoist operations were not withdrawn, “there will be more deadly attacks in 2011 and the government should be prepared to take responsibility for it.”
It also slammed Left Front partner Forward Bloc, saying that the party has become fascist.
“Our battle with them will continue,” the letter stated.

Posted in CHHATISGARH, IN NEWS, NAXALISM | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »

Amnesty condemns Binayak Sen’s conviction, asks government to intervene

Posted by ajadhind on December 29, 2010

Amnesty International today described human rights activist Binayak Sen as a prisoner of conscience and flayed his conviction by a Chhatisgarh court, saying it violated international standards of fair trial.

The prison term awarded to Sen has evoked outrage among social activists in India and warned that the politically-motivated charges could enflame tensions in the country’s conflict-hit areas.

The international rights body appealed to the Indian government to revoke the charges against him and set him free immediately.

Sen, along with Naxal ideologue Narayan Sanyal and Kolkata businessman Piyush Guha were yesterday found guilty by a district court of sedition and sentenced to life imprisonment for colluding with Maoists in establish a network to fight the state.

Reacting to the verdict that has also shocked many in India, Amnesty International’s Asia-Pacific director Sam Zarifi said: “Life in prison is an unusually harsh sentence for anyone, much less for an internationally recognised human rights defender who has never been charged with any act of violence”.

“Dr Sen, who is considered a prisoner of conscience by Amnesty, was convicted under laws that are impermissibly vague and fall well short of international standards for criminal prosecution,” Sam Zarifi said.

Zarifi said instead of persecuting Sen, the state should focus more on protecting people of the Naxalism-affected region from the abuses of both the Maoists as well as the security forces.

“State and federal authorities in India should immediately drop these politically motivated charges against Dr Sen and release him,” he said.

The 58-year-old paediatrician and vice-president of the People’s Union of Civil Liberties, had been accused by the prosecution of carrying Sanyal’s messages and letters to the underground Maoists.

Sen, who has actively worked in the Maoist-affected districts, was one of the first vocal critics of Salwa Judum, the state-promoted anti-Maoist militant movement.

Sen was arrested on May 14, 2007 from Bilaspur and was in jail for two years before being granted bail by the Supreme Court in May last year.

“This sentence will seriously intimidate other human rights defenders who would provide a peaceful outlet for the people’s grievances, especially for the indigenous Adivasi population,” Zarifi said.

Posted in CHHATISGARH, IN NEWS | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Statement by COMMUNIST PARTY OF INDIA (MAOIST)

Posted by ajadhind on December 14, 2010

COMMUNIST PARTY OF INDIA (MAOIST)

CENTRAL COMMITTEE

Press Release
December 4, 2010

Observe `Black Day’ On December 6 Opposing Hindu Communalism!
Rebuild Babri Masjid At The Same Site!
Isolate And Defeat Hindu Fascist Forces!!

Punish Severely Saffron Terrorists Responsible For Malegaon , Mecca Masjid, Ajmer Sherief And
Samjhouta Express Bomb Blasts!

Exactly 18 years ago, on 6th December, 1992, Hindu religious fundamentalist goondas in connivance with the then Congress government at the centre, demolished Babri Masjid at Ayodhya. Firstly, these Hindu fundamentalists made 500 year-old Babri Masjid a controversial site by claiming it as the birth place of Lord Rama and on that pretext many a time instigated communal disturbances in the country killing thousands of Muslims. Demolition of Babri Masjid was the biggest attack by Hindu fascists in the history of our country. The likes of LK Advani, Ashok Singhal, Murali Manohar Joshi, Praveen Togadiya, Uma Bharati, Sadhvi Ritambara, who were directly involved in it were not punished by any court even till today. On 30th September, giving its verdict on the ownership rights of the controversial site, pending for 61 years, the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court with its Brahminical Hindu religious ideology did injustice to Muslims. Without any historical evidence and archeological proof it stated the controversial place to be the birth place of Lord Rama. First occupying Masjid, then demolishing, now by giving verdict to build temple, that too to handover the very forces involved in demolition, clarifies Indian state’s Hindu fascist mindset. By this verdict, once again it has been proved that the Houses of justice in this country favour only exploitative classes and Brahminical Hindu religious fanatics, but not peasants, workers, dalits, women and religious minorities. By court verdicts a solution to this cannot be found, only by smashing the present system and by establishing New Democratic State, a solution to this can be found.

In the recent past, many evidences surfaced proving the involvement of saffron terrorist groups of the Sagh Parivar in bomb blasts at Malegaon , Ajmer Sherief, Hyderabad ‘s Mecca Masjid, Samjhouta express. The leaders of VHP, RSS, Bajarang Dal and other organizations on the proxy name of `Abhinav Bharat’ conspired bomb blasts and killed many innocent people. It has become a norm for the police and intelligence agencies to blame Muslims as culprits, wherever and whenever bomb blasts take place, even if at Masjids. Arresting hundreds of youth without any reason and severely torturing, killing in fake encounters, implicate false cases, accusing of having links with ISI and thus playing with the lives is part of the Hindu communal and fascist policies of the governments. By projecting every Muslim as a terrorist through media, governments are trying to suppress them by all means. Those who demand to hang Ajmal Kasab who is involved in Mumbai attacks, at the same time keeping mum or not raising their voice loudly against Hindu fascist killers of Sangh gang is a dangerous sign. Governments are not arresting these saffron terrorists, even if they arrest a few on some occasions, are setting them free declaring innocent by not conducting thorough probe. On the other hand, those intellectuals, journalists, media organizations, newspapers and activists who dare to raise their voice against these Hindu fundamentalist forces are being attacked by Sangh gang at several places. On the whole, the communal fascistic trends of the Indian state are taking a severe form day by day.

Secular forces of all religions, democrats and progressive thinkers should come forward and fight unitedly against Hindu communal fascism. All of us must condemn the attacks of Hindu fascist forces on Muslims, Christians and all other religious minorities. At the same time all other kinds of religious fundamentalism should be opposed.

Our Party has been maintaining that the place of Babri Masjid belonged to Muslims; it should be given to Muslims and has been demanding that Babri Masjid should be rebuilt at the same site and those fascist leaders who had demolished it must be punished severely. Our Central Committee calls upon all democratic, secular, progressive and revolutionary forces, organizations and parties to support this demand. Our CC also calls upon entire people to observe `BLACK DAY’ on December 6, by conducting meetings and processions and wearing black badges in protest of Hindu communalism.

(Abhay)

Spokesperson,

Central Committee,

CPI (Maoist

Posted in HISTORY, IN NEWS, Press Releases | 3 Comments »

‘LET US CELEBRATE 10TH ANNIVERSARY OF PLGA WITH REVOLUTIONARY ENTHUSIASM FROM DECEMBER 2!’

Posted by ajadhind on December 5, 2010

COMMUNIST PARTY OF INDIA (MAOIST)

DANDAKARANYA SPECIAL ZONAL MILITARY COMMISSION

Press Release

November 23, 2010

LET US INTENSIFY PEOPLE’S WAR WITH THE AIM TO DEFEAT OPERATION GREEN HUNT!

LET US WAGE STRUGGLES UNITEDLY RAISING THE SLOGAN ‘FULL RIGHTS TO PEOPLE OVER JAL-JUNGLE-ZAMEEN’, AGAINST CORPORATE PLUNDER OF NATURAL RESOURCES! LET US CELEBRATE 10TH ANNIVERSARY OF PLGA WITH REVOLUTIONARY ENTHUSIASM FROM DECEMBER 2!

Dear comrades and friends,

Fulfilling the cherished dreams of Comrades Charu Mazumdar and Kanhai Chatterji, the fore-founders of our Party – Communist Party of India (Maoist), on the day 2nd December 2000, the first anniversary of the martyrdom of comrades Shyam, Mahesh and Murali, for the first time in our country an Army, the Army of downtrodden people, came into existence. The name of this army is People’s Liberation Guerilla Army (PLGA) which fights under the leadership of CPI (Maoist). Since ages in our country, various communities and sections of people fought many a rebellions, against colonialists first and after 1947, against feudal and comprador bourgeoisie ruling classes. Thousands of brave fighters laid down their lives. This People’s Army of ours took birth in the process of continuation of the legacy of all those struggles. Now it’s the 10th anniversary of this Army.

In Dandakaranya, the revolutionary movement in the leadership of our Party has also completed 30 years by this year. Prior to the formation of PLGA, guerilla squads and organizers used to fulfill both organizational and military tasks here. After the formation of PLGA, many a commissions, commands and guerilla formations have been formed. By developing the Revolutionary People’s War in a systematic way and by taking up numerous tactical counter-offensive campaigns, many suppressive campaigns of the enemy were beaten back. After 2000, in the pace with which the Maoist People’s war in Dandakaranya advanced and in the development of the People’s Political Power in the form of Janatana Sarkar, the PLGA’s role was crucial.

It’s the Army of those people, who despite of producing entire wealth from the food grains to all other things with their sweat and blood, won’t get bread, proper clothing and shelter to live. When this Army is going to celebrate its 10th anniversary, certainly, it would be the moment of great pleasure for the toiling people and their well-wishers who consist 90% of our population. What’s the reasonability of this Army of workers and peasants? To find answer for this question, one needs to look into the history of at least past 63 years. Our beloved motherland India was subjected to ruthless plunder during the British rule for nearly 200 years, which is now masked with an absurd and fake democracy for the past 63 years. In the name of independence, as Bhagat Singh had warned us long ago, power was transferred from the hands of British exploiters to those of our own country. Congress party, which represents the comprador bourgeoisies like Tatas and Birlas, and feudal classes, in collaboration with imperialism, came to the power. No change brought in exploitation, oppression, atrocities and injustice. Only the form was changed. The direct rule of imperialism ended, but indirect rule, exploitation and control reached to high levels. In politics, economy, social life, agriculture, culture and Jal-Jungle-Zameen, in every aspect of our country the role of imperialism increased. The landlord and comprador bourgeois rulers of our country, dancing to the tunes of imperialism, pushed the vast majority of the population into the sea of endless problems like poverty, destitution, hunger, malnutrition, disease, unemployment, price rise, discrimination, corruption, oppression, so on. During the past 63 years, these rulers, who used to boast the `development’ with high figures, are only responsible for the situation of 77% population forced to live with the minimal earning of 20 rupees per day. On the other hand the assets of 100 top billionaires like Tatas, Jindals, Essars, Ambanis, have accumulated so much wealth which is equivalent to the 25% of the GDP. In the name of development, big dams, mines, big industries and sanctuaries displaced more than 40 million people from their habitats. More than 40% of such people are adivasis who constitute only 8 percent of the total population. Thus, the brunt of the so-called `development’ is being faced by adivasis, dalits and other poor sections. The condition of the working class in urban areas is worse. They are forced to work in 18th century-like-conditions today. Toiling for 10 to 16 hours per day is becoming more and more common now. Minimum wages act is being kept only in the papers. Because of continuous attacks of Hindu fascists’ on Muslims and Christians, latter are forced to live with insecurity. In Kashmir and North-East regions, armed forces of the Indian expansionist rulers have been suppressing the people in most inhuman ways. Where ever a protest is registered to this situation or whenever a voice of opposition is raised, state always countered with its brute force of bullets and guns. Entire repressive tools of the state, i.e. police, paramilitary and army dealt this opposition with violence, terror and barbarity. In this backdrop, the famous Maoist saying – `people have nothing without a people’s army’, converted into reality, not only in words but in practice too. In the process of continuation of the New Democratic Revolution of India which was initiated with the First Struggle of Independence in 1857, and particularly the ongoing Agrarian Revolutionary Guerilla War which was initiated along with the Great Naxalbari Armed Peasant Uprising, this People’s Army – People’s Liberation Guerilla Army was formed which is now celebrating its 10 years. Smashing feudalism, comprador bureaucratic bourgeoisie and imperialism; and establishing the rule of the United Front which consists of worker-peasant unity as its basis and small and middle bourgeoisie as its allied forces, is the political aim of this People’s Army.

Now, let us have a glance at the achievements of the Dandakaranya people with the help of this Army –

In village and area levels, the power of the exploiting classes has been smashed and the People’s Power has been established.

Organs of the Janatana Sarkar, though in primary level, are working taking initiative with the aim of achieving all-round development of the people. O

ver three lakh acres of land has been confiscated from the government forest department and landlord classes.

Thus there is no landless peasant in the areas of struggle, here in Dandakaranya.

All kinds of atrocities, exploitation and sexual exploitation of women by police, forest department, revenue department, mining maphiya, timber smugglers, usurers, tendu leaves contractors, paper mills management have been stopped.

The attempts of plundering the huge natural wealth of Dandakaranya by both `indigenous’ and foreign corporate companies like Tatas, Essars, Jindals, Mittals, Texas Power Generation, Vedanta etc. have been thwarted.

The bogus policies of the government under the garb of `development’ which would have been displaced adivasis in big numbers were opposed and resisted.

Hence the mining maphiya has been forced to flee from various places from Pallamad to Surjagarh.

The suppressive and rapist police and paramilitary forces that were deployed to ensure the exploitation of people and plunder of resources were wiped out in big numbers. O

ver 575 modern weapons were seized from them by the people and people’s forces to arm themselves. Murkinar, Urpalmetta, Ranibodili, Korkotti, Laheri, Kongera, and particularly the historic Tadimetla ambush, all these attacks show the development process of the guerilla war.

Many a brave daughters and sons of the people attained an important place in the history with their martyrdom.

In 2005, with directives of the central government, BJP government of Chhattisgarh had launched a brutal counter-revolutionary campaign with the name of Salwa Judum. During that campaign police, paramilitary forces and SPOs had killed more than one thousand adivasis and raped hundreds of women. More than 600 villages were burnt down and thousands of people were forced to live in so-called `relief’ camps. In spite of this, entire people stood straight and firmly. Raising the flag of resistance everywhere, the people of Bastar defeated Salwa Judum in the leadership of this Army and thus added a new chapter in the annals of history.

 But the challenges are there…

With the aim of wiping out the Maoist movement, which has become a big hindrance in the road of indiscriminate corporate plunder of natural wealth, with the guidance of imperialists, exploitative ruling classes have launched an inhuman, massive and countrywide onslaught in the name of Operation Green Hunt, which is, in fact, `war against the people’. This must be fight back. For this, PLGA should become strong in all aspects. Refuting all illusionary and fake developmental schemes firmly, People’s Economy has to be developed basing on the principle of `self-reliance’. To defend this and to ensure its smooth conduct, youth should join PLGA in big numbers. Big and foreign corporate companies are itching to plunder the mineral and other natural wealth of Dandakaranya. This would lead to the displacement of entire local populace. In the struggle of resistance to this, PLGA should lead from the front so as to protect the existence of the people. On the occasion of 10th anniversary of PLGA, we appeal to all democratic intellectuals, writers, journalists, mediapersons, students, youth, teachers, workers and peasants to stand firmly in support of the just struggle of the people of Dandakaranya and to oppose the fascist onslaught of exploiters – Operation Green Hunt. PLGA 10th anniversary celebrations would start from 2nd December and continue till the end of the month. During this period, revolutionary propaganda, processions, meetings, rallies would be conducted in every village and everywhere. We also want to make one point clear that there would be no bandh or shutdown on this occasion. We are in no way responsible for the rumors that there is going to be a shutdown for three weeks.

(Sudhakar) (Gudsa Usendi)

 In charge Spokesperson

DKSZ Military Commission

DKSZ Committee CPI (Maoist)

CPI (Maoist)

(This was translated from Hindi Original)

Posted in IN NEWS, NAXALISM | Tagged: , | 2 Comments »

The Fourth Pillar of ‘Democracy’.

Posted by ajadhind on December 5, 2010

 They are behind scoops, scandals, breaking news(?) and glamour. They don’t need the facts. But these are known facts. If you have some distant relative or a friend in the field of journalism irrespective of whether she/he is corrupt or non corrupt [ luckily i have a non corrupt friend] you can analyse the depth (atleast partially) of corruption in the field of journalism which is highly regarded as the fourth pillar of democracy. As can be expected in a rottening democracy the fourth pillar is crumbling.

Recently there were 2 imortant issues in regard to whistle blowing and journalism, one in the international concept and other in our own nation. Wikileaks which has acclaimed international whistle blower title has ‘leaked ‘ the cables of USA embassy which is embarrassing various nations including US. Inspite of the constant threats from the governments The Gaurdian, The New York Times, El Pais, Der Spiegel, Le Mondel have shown enough courage to publish the articles. The news also made the headlines in almost all national media in India.

On the other hand Broker / Lobbyist Radia’s tape got leaked in India. The tapes clearly showed to whom this India belongs and who is ‘ ruling ‘ the country. We just have the right to vote. But the country’s future is decided by those who have a vision of their own welfare. The tapes exposed the nexus between the corporate – political and Journalism world. Many from the latter field also got naked. But what was the response of our media? Just because there were journalists involvement in the infamous 2G scam either directly or indirectly most of the main stream media kept their mouth shut. It was 2 magazines which dared to publish the tapes, one is outlook and the other a new magazine Open. Following the enormous pressure from the bloggers, twitters other news agencies were forced to carry the article at least in the inner sheets of the paper. The response from the Television media was worse in its history. The technology which is used by the ‘ ruling class’ to create an Utopian world of ” everything is fine” is now haunting the `rulers` and forcing them to get naked.

Will everything get changed by these? The ‘rulers’ always thinks of new ways to suppress the whistle blowers and fact finders. Interpol has issued warrant for Wikileaks Julian Assange [charges of rape; he claims that he had sexual intercourse but after their consent]. Ratan Tata , self proclaimed decent and pro people capitalist has moved the court against Open and Outlook magazines. Ratan Tata should remember that his private chat with Radia may be a matter of entertainment for some people for few days but with all his influences and lobbyists if he succeeds in gagging the democratic voices for justice the people will inevitably have to opt for other modes of struggle.

Posted in FROM MY PEN, IN NEWS, Main stream Media | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

 
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