1 anti-land grab activist bludgeoned to death by the police in a brutal lathicharge
1 girl raped and burnt alive(tapasi malik) for resisting landgrab.
2 farmers driven to suicide.
1 Landless Labourer dies of starvation.
Singur, July 2: A landless farm labourer died of starvation in Singur today, bringing under the spotlight a group forgotten in the land war.
Shankar Das, 48, died at Dobandhi, a village of farm workers most of whose 90 families lost their livelihood after the fields they worked in were acquired for the Tata Motors project.
Shankar’s widow Anima.
The government’s compensation package is available only to the owners of the acquired land, who are now at the focus of a tug-of-war between the CPM and the Opposition.
“Since the plots were taken over, we have been battling hunger and malnutrition,” said Kamal Bairagi, 38, at Dobandhi, 55 km from Calcutta.
“We had been living on rice, puffed rice and chira sent by the (Trinamul Congress-led) Krishi Jomi Raksha Committee, but the supplies weren’t enough,” Shankar’s wife Anima said at the Dases’ home, barely 50 yards from the Tata Motors boundary wall.
“The two of us and our four children hadn’t had a decent meal in six months and had become extremely weak. Yesterday, my husband said he was feeling ill. We took him to a homoeopath after midnight but he collapsed and died there.”
The CPI(Marxist) has declared an open war on pro-maoist bloggers and otherwebsites which had exposed the criminal activities of CPM in West Bengal in particular.
Biman seeks NRI help as SEZ war hits cyberspace Bidyut Roy
Kolkata, June 26: CPI(M) state secretary Biman Bose is taking the “facts” on Nandigram and Singur to the US. Bose is leaving for the country on June 27 to raise funds for his non-governmental organisation, Vidyasagar Foundation, which works on literacy programmes in rural areas.
However, he is extending his fund-raising trip by eight days during which he will talk to influential Bengali NRIs on what happened at Nandigram to counter the Internet campaign launched by Naxalite groups and the Trinamool Congress. The cyber campaign centres around the police firing of March 14 at Nandigram in which 14 villagers were killed when a protest against a now-abandoned land acquisition programme turned violent.
For the Vidyasagar Foundation trip, Bose is going to Detroit, the headquarters of the Uttar America Banga Sanskriti Sammelan or North American Bengali Cultural Conference. He will be accompanied by Anup Sarkar and three other office-bearers of the Vidyasagar Foundation.
Sarkar told Newsline: “We have already fixed up five meetings in the US with influential Bengali groups there.” The North American Bengali Conference will be held in Detroit from June 29 to July 1. “After this, Biman da will meet Bengali professionals who are US citizens to discuss Nandigram,” Sarkar said.
Earlier, Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee had decided to use non-resident Indian supporters of her party and of the Naxals to propagate the anti-CPI(M) campaign over Nandigram. Mamata and her Naxal allies have already chosen three influential NRIs for this task. Trinamool sources said these people have begun their campaign among the Bengali community.
The brutal rape and murder of Tapasi Malik, the 18 year old girl who was a highly motivated member of the Save Farmland Committee spearheading the struggle against land acquisition in Singur, had sent shockwaves through the body politic of West Bengal last year. The Save Farmland Committee had accused the CPI(M) cadre who double as night-guards for the fenced off area of land, forcibly acquired for setting up Tata’s factory at Singur. The CBI had taken up the investigation due to strong protests against the incident.
However, CPI(M) leaders and the police had tried to pass it off variously as suicide, result of a love affair etc. Most vociferous and prominent among these was Debu Malik, who appeared on several TV channels claiming to have seen Tapasi go towards the fenced off area with a can of kerosene in her hand. Soon, and sure enough, some intellectuals serving the CPI(M) took up the task of adding a new twist to the story.
In a widely circulated article which appeared on the prestigious American leftist newsletter Counterpunch on May 23, 2007, Sudhanva Deshpande and Vijay Prashad wrote the following about the death of Tapasi Malik:
“Stories were blown out of context, and allegations flew around (sexual assaults, murders) that have since been shown to be false. The most sensational was the murder of a young woman, Tapasi Malik, who had been a leader in the Singur struggle against the land acquisition. The blogs and the capitalist media blamed this death on the CPM. The Central Bureau of Investigation is now of the view that she was killed by her father and brother.”
The two authors cavalierly accused the bereaved father and brother of the victim for her murder, without attributing it to any source, and passed it off as an assessment of the CBI. It now turns out that the only source on which this accusation was based was an article in the CPI(M) organ Peoples Democracy which said the following on the matter
“NEW and definitive light has been shed on the murder of a young woman named Tapasi Malik. Tapasi was done away brutally nearly five months ago one early morning on December 8 and her remains stuffed in a hole within the limits of the automobile factory that is coming up at Singur. Her body was set on fire and was partially burnt. The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probing the case now believes that the young woman’s father and brother might have had something to do with her murder.”
The article went on to say “In all probability, the duo (Tapasi’s father and brother) will be subjected to sophisticated probing techniques as narco-analysis, brain-mapping and DNA testing. The blood samples taken from the murder site apparently do not match the samples of blood collected from Monoranjan and Surajit. The father-and-son may also be subjected to a ‘lie-detector’ or ‘polygraph’ test.” All this was attributed to un-named “CBI officials” talking to an un-named “all-India English daily”. A miasma was tactically created to accuse the father and brother Tapasi Malik for her death and was propagated by Vijay Prashad and Sudhanva Deshpande in their article.
Now let us fast-forward to the facts which has been coming out in the last few days. The person whom the CBI subjected to the lie-detector test were not the father and brother of Tapasi but Debu Malik, the powerful CPI(M) activist from the area who was in charge of organizing the CPI(M) cadre for safeguarding the land acquired for their capitalist master. Debu Malik failed the test and broke down under interrogation to confess to the crime of raping and murdering Tapasi. Interestingly, he also confessed that it was done on the orders of Suhrid Datta, the influential Singur zonal committee secretary of CPI(M) who was also subsequently arrested. Debu is also the close confidante and driver of the former CPI(M) Singur zonal committee secretary and current district committee member Dibakar Das, who was also called up by the CBI for interrogation.
It has become clear that the entire crime was ordered by the local CPI(M) leadership to teach a lesson to the teenager protesting the loss of her family’s livelihood. Binay Kongar, the CPI(M) leader who is officiating as the CPI(M) state secretary in absence of Biman Bose who is enjoying a vacation in the USA, has disowned Debu Malik by saying that he is a “supporter/voter” of the party and not a “member”. However, the arrest of Suhrid Datta and the possible arrest of Dibakar Das has somewhat subdued the tone of the normally indomitable Binay Kongar. What this incident has also done is to expose the bankruptcy of the CPI(M) allied intellectuals who propagate the falsehoods emanating from their party in a Goebbelsian manner, hoping that a lie repeated a hundred times will become the truth.
Tapasi Malik 16 – A strong willed girl and one of the youngest and most dedicated organisers in singur.
Tapasi Malik raped and burnt alive on orders of CPM leaders to teach her a lesson.
Civilization died that day in the fields of Singur….
Two CPI-M activists, Mr Suhrid Dutta and Mr Debu Malik, who were arrested in connection with the Tapasi Malik murder case, were remanded in CBI custody by the additional chief judicial magistrate of the Chandernagore SDJM court in Hooghly today.
Mr Dutta, a CPI-M Hooghly district committee member and his associate Mr Debu Malik, were charged under sections 302, 120 (B), 376 and 201 of the IPC, said Mr Tapas Basu, CBI advocate who submitted a remand application before the court. He said the CBI had found evidence of the duo’s involvement in the murder. The magistrate later ordered the CBI to present Mr Malik before the court on 7 July. Mr Dutta was remanded in CBI custody till 12 July. Mr Dutta, who is also the secretary of the CPI-M Singur zonal committee, alleged that he was falsely implicated. The duo was produced before the court around 10.50 a.m. CBI officers grilled Mr Dibakar Das, another CPI-M Hooghly district committee member, yesterday but he was not detained. More than a thousand supporters of the Trinamul Congress, SUCI and other Opposition parties staged a sit-in demonstration in front of the court gate demanding that the accused be handed over to them for punishment. The agitators were chased away. Tension ran high in the court premises after local CPI-M supporters assembled in the area to take out a rally alleging “highhandedness” of the CBI. They alleged that Mr Dutta fell victim to a conspiracy of “Opposition parties”.
Defence counsel Mr Keshablal Mukherjee, who submitted the bail application for Mr Dutta, said the 55-year-old CPI-M leader should be released on bail considering his health condition. He claimed that Mr Dutta was framed by his rivals. The CBI advocate, however, countered the allegations and told the magistrate that the investigating agency had got evidence of the leader’s involvement in the crime. He said that Mr Malik had given a statement under Section 164 CrPC before the Patiala metropolitan magistrate court disclosing Mr Dutta’s involvement in the murder. Mr Malik reportedly told the CBI that five other men were involved in the murder which took place on 18 December last year. The CBI advocate said the murder was committed to creating a fear psychosis among the people of the area. Advocate Mr Kishor Mondal, who submitted the bail petition for Mr Malik said the CBI officers “had drugged his client” to keep him silent in the court. “Debu was under the influence of drugs when he was produced before the court. He didn’t respond to my quarries,” said Mr Mondal. The defence counsel said they would decide on the next course of action after speaking to the family members of the accused.
Meanwhile, Singur Krishi Jomi Raksha Committee supporters and their counterparts in the CPI-M today took out rallies trading charges against each other. While the former demanded capital punishment for the accused, the later alleged that the CBI and the Opposition parties have conspired against Mr Dutta. Interestingly, Mr Malik, who was very close to the CPI-M, has fallen from grace and the party has already started stamping him as “a mere sympathiser of the party.” Trinamul Congress chief Miss Mamata Banerjee visited Tapasi’s residence at Bajemelia and assured villagers that no criminal would be spared. She will address a meeting of the Krishi Jomi Raksha Committee to be held at Singur tomorrow.
Three days ago members of the RYL stopped a tram, distributed pamphlets and then set the tram on fire.Like as if setting the tram on fire is going to convince the people of the fascist nature of the West Bengal government or is it going to elevate the consciousness of the people ?
Agree that it may have got some press coverage but that hardly proves anything.. nowadays all you need to do is marry someone from another religion ,throw a party or just plain kiss somebody and viola ! you are on the front page of the newspaper with hours of coverage from television news channels.
What do comrades think of such individual acts of violence ?
My advice to people is to not take part in individual acts of anarchic violence for they serve no purpose. Burning a tram, smashing a statue or thrashing a reliance fresh outlet is not going to serve any long term purpose.
It means nothing to these people in power.It poses no threat to them.
Abraham Lincoln once said Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.
Taking a lump of metal and attaching it to a stick and banging it at the base of the tree may cause some external injury to the tree but it is not enough to bring it down. Eventually you will wear out.
We tell you to spend 5hours 55 minutes sharpening your axe and practicing your stokes and then you will be able to chop any tree in 5 minutes.
The current Mantra is to Organize.
In India there are an estimated 340 million unorganised workers(figures of 1999/2000. )And in most sectors like agriculture,construction,hotel industry more than 90 % of them are yet to be organised.
Click on image for larger view Fellow comrades of RYL please use your time and energy more constructively and refrain from individual acts of heroism or violence .
Naxalite strikes College St
Statesman News Service KOLKATA, June 25: A supporter of Revolutionary Youth League was arrested from Muraripukur Road today for trying to damage government property when he attempted to set a tram on fire near Presidency College on College Street last night. Police said Bhola Dutta, a resident of 40/14 Muraripukur Road, was among the 12-odd youths who stopped the Belgachia-bound tram when it reached Mahatma Gandhi Road and College Street crossing.
Shouting slogans against setting up of special economic zones, the youths forced their way into the tram and distributed posters among passengers. They forced the driver and passengers to disembark. Later they poured kerosene oil on the footboard of the tram and then set it on fire. The mob retreated after they spotted a police van approaching the spot. The fire was extinguished and police started a case on the basis of the complaint of the driver of the tram. The vehicle was sent to Belgachia tram depot under police protection.
No one was injured in the incident. “Bhola has been arrested following a tip-off this afternoon. His five associates have been identified. The youths all belong to RYL, a frontal organisation of a Naxalite outfit,” said DC (headquarters) Mr Pradip Chattopadhyay. Bhola was remanded in police custody for 12 days after he was produced before the chief metropolitan magistrate’s court, the officer said. “We are looking for the other accused,” he said.
A group of students including two from Jadavpur University went on rampage in an automobile showroom on AJC Bose road on 4 December last year. The two JU students were arrested. Yesterday’s incident is the second strike by a Naxalite outfit in the city in less that six months.
USDF is one of the fastest growing student unions in calcutta which the authorities claim is backed by maoists of various hues.
Around 5:30 p.m. on monday, the students were attacked by a group of CPI-M activists when they were seen taking measurement near the proposed thermal power super-project at Srikhand village.One of them is in a critical condition with severe head injuries
Statesman News Service DURGAPUR, June 26: Three of the five students of United Students Democratic Front who were detained by Katwa police last evening were released after preliminary questioning. Though Lokeshweri Dasgupta, second year history student at Jadavpur University, Priyonkar Dey of JU and Supriyo Sur of Presidency College were released, Jaladhar Mahato was arrested for his suspected links with Maoists.
Police said that Jaladhar might have links with the Lalgarh squad of the Maoists in West Midnapore and his name had figured during investigations following two Maoist strikes in Belpahari in 2005. The other three students were released after police did not find any links with them and the Maoists. However, police are yet to question Ashim as his condition is not stable and is currently admitted at a local hospital with critical head injuries. All the five were taken to the Katwa police station yesterday following a squabble at a village about six km from Katwa town.
Around 5:30 p.m. yesterday, the students were attacked by a group of CPI-M activists when they were seen taking measurement near the proposed thermal power super-project at Srikhand village.One of them is in a critical condition with severe head injuriest
Statesman News Service KOLKATA, June 21: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) today detained a youth in connection with the murder of Tapasi Malik in Singur about six months back and took him to Delhi for a polygram test, commonly known as lie detector test. The youth, Debu Malik, is a close associate of a CPI-M Hooghly district committee member. According to reports, the special crime branch of Central Bureau of Investigation detained Debu after they found irregularities in his statement regarding the circumstances that led to Tapasi’s murder.
The Central Bureau of Investigation had questioned at least 20 people in connection with the murder including Debu and the CPI-M Hooghly district committee member, with whom Debu reportedly has close links.
Debu had claimed during questioning that Tapasi was not murdered, but had committed suicide as her family had objected to her relationship with a local youth. After Tapasi’s family declined to marry her off to the youth of her choice, the girl committed suicide.The charred body of Tapasi Malik (16) was recovered from inside the fenced-off area for the proposed Tata Motors small car project in Singur on 18 December 2006.
Tapasi, who had been participating in a hunger strike in protest against land acquisition at Singur, was allegedly raped, strangled to death and finally set ablaze by unidentified miscreants near Bajemelia.
The state government, under pressure from the opposition parties, had first handed over the case to Criminal Investigation Department, but then asked the Central Bureau of Investigation to investigate.
It was a small item in that day’s newspaper. But to Dipanjan Rai Chaudhuri, the news about peasants killing a policeman in Naxalbari in north Bengal on May 25, 1967, literally leapt out of the page. Rai Chaudhuri, then a 23-year-old student at Calcutta University, was part of a growing number of youth in elite colleges who were fired by revolutionary ideology but were increasingly getting disillusioned with mainstream Communist parties.
Naxalbari was like a clarion call to Rai Chaudhuri — who retired as head of the department of physics in Presidency College in 2004 and was one of those who featured in V S Naipaul’s India: A Million Mutinies Now — and many of the best and brightest of his generation. “We were elated. We had only read about the armed peasant struggles in China and Vietnam. Now it was actually happening here in our land,” says Rai Chaudhuri. Soon posters supporting Naxalbari appeared in College Street and elsewhere. Slogans such as ‘China’s Chairman is our Chairman’ suddenly sprouted on Kolkata walls. The lawns of Presidency College became a meeting ground for students from Calcutta and neighbouring areas, and the informal group came to be known as the Presidency Coalition.
By April 1969, a Maoist party — the CPI(ML) — had been formed and Naxalite leader Charu Majumdar’s call to liberate the countryside was finding ready takers among students. The rules as framed by Majumdar — himself a college dropout from Siliguri and a veteran of the Tebhaga movement — for the young organisers were clear: Stay only in the house of a landless or poor peasant; stay secretly right from the first; and never expose yourselves. The rural stint did not always go down well with city-bred students. Dipesh Chakrabarty, a Presidency College student of the 1960s who now teaches in University of Chicago, recalls: “Many of the urban youth who went to liberate villages came back within weeks with acute bowel problems.”
For those like Rai Chaudhuri, who decided to stay on, life was hard. “The CPI(ML) had been formed by then, and the line of ‘annihilation of class enemies’ had taken shape. The idea was that after killing a hated landlord in an area, the action would itself act as an ‘organiser’. After one or two circuits, I was sent to a new area where there had just been an annihilation. I tried sincerely but could not reap any organisational harvest from that action,” he says. This was also the time brutal killings became part of life in Bengal. Indeed, one of Majumdar’s favourite dictums was: “One who has not smeared his hands red with the blood of the class enemy is not fit to be called a Communist.” Calcutta, in particular, lived in daily fear of Naxalite violence.
The violent turn to the movement and the subsequent police brutality alienated some of the urban youth. “While I supported Maoism, I did not have a taste for the cult of violence that Charu Majumdar preached. Also, I did not have the courage to face the prospect of police torture,” admits Chakrabarty. The distaste for violence among some students is confirmed by Arun Mukherjee, who had an intimate knowledge of the psyche of the young activists. As deputy commissioner of police in the special branch from 1969-72, he was in charge of interrogating arrested Naxalites. Mukherjee, who has just released a book on the period, believes that the egregious violence propagated by Naxalite leaders deeply unsettled many students from middle-class families. He cites the case of a Presidency College student who developed “serious mental aberrations” after committing an act of brutal annihilation.
This was also the time when members of the underworld joined the Naxalite movement — sometimes actively encouraged by the police — leading to an upsurge of violence. There were many students who were shot in cold blood and several more put behind bars. In end-1971, Rai Chaudhuri — who by then was married and had a daughter — was arrested with another prominent Naxalite leader, Asim Chatterjee — better known as Kaka — in Deoghar. After having spent 11 months in jail, Rai Chaudhuri was released on the condition that he and his family leave the country. In August 1972, Rai Chaudhuri was taken straight from jail to Dum Dum airport to board a flight to London where he went on to complete his PhD.
Not everyone was as fortunate as Rai Chaudhuri. For some students, their careers were virtually finished. There were, however, many who picked up the pieces of their lives and moved on. There was, for instance, Amal Sanyal who sat for his university exams from prison and later settled down in New Zealand. Chakrabarty joined IIM Calcutta in what he says was a “peculiar mood that combined elements of self-denial with those of self-affirmation”. Some like Kaka stayed in active politics and even contested elections.
But for most of the youth from elite colleges who dedicated the best years of their lives to the cause of revolution, the Naxalite movement fundamentally changed their lives. Rai Chaudhuri recently took to the streets to protest the police firing in Nandigram. Chakrabarty’s involvement with the Subaltern Studies project would never have happened without the Naxalite movement. While the fires of revolution sparked by Naxalbari have spread and taken on a different character, the events that happened 40 years ago still remain a source of inspiration for the 1960s generation.
Jamshedpur, April 1: Armed squads of Communist Party of India (Maoist) today took out a torch-lit procession at Gian in the Ghatshila subdivision of the district.
Sources said the programme of the torch-lit procession and the subsequent meeting that started at 11 pm on Saturday continued till 3 am today.
Sources said the members had fired in the air while marching in the area, which is considered to be a rebel stronghold. It was for the first time that the rebels had organised a torch-lit procession about which they had spread news amid the villagers.
Moreover, the gun-toting rebels had motivated the local residents to participate in the procession, which was later converted into a meeting. Sources added that while addressing the meeting the rebels condemned the alleged police atrocities against innocent persons in the name of operation against the Naxalites.
East Singhbhum SP Pankaj Kumar Darad, neither confirmed nor denied the news saying that the Naxalites had stepped up activities in areas like Gian under Ghurabandha police station and that the news of Naxalites organising a torch-lit procession could not be ruled out.
“We have information that the Maoist rebels have stepped up their activities in Gian, and it would not be surprising if they organise a torch-lit procession,” he said.
Shanker Chandra Hembrom, president of anti-Naxalite outfit, Nagarik Surakshya Samiti, however, confirmed that the procession had indeed taken place. Hembrom, whose outfit is keeping a close track on Naxalite activities, said armed guerrillas are nowadays being seen in bigger groups of 15-20 members.
Massive Peasant Insurrection in Nandigram,East Midnapore, West Bengal
On Wednesday, thousands of farmers armed with sticks and firearms clashed with the police in East Midnapore’s Nandigram village. The agitation was far fierce than Singur. They have separated the Nadigram area by digging up roads and destroying bridges.2 party office of CPM have been burnt. About 20,000 to 25,000 people armed with lathis, sickles,swords and firearms were roaming the whole area.Police has not been able to reach the area after they were forced out by the mob. A bandh has been called today
Shutdown protest in Nandigram Thursday, January 4, 2007 (Kolkata):
The Congress party and SUCI has called for a 12-hour shutdown on Thursday in Nandigram in West Bengal.
It follows clashes between villagers and police over acquisition of land for two Special Economic Zones (SEZ) in East Midnapore district. The villagers are unhappy with government plans to acquire approximately 20,000 acres for a consortium led by Indonesia’s Salim Group.
Report on Wednesday’s Clashes
Violence re-erupts in Bengal over Salim land acquisition
By IANS, Kolkata/Nandigram, Jan 3 – In what can be called a sequel to the Singur movement, violence erupted again Wednesday over land acquisition for a project for Indonesia’s Salim Group when police fired several rounds to quell frenzied villagers at Nandigram in West Bengal.
Villagers, who blocked roads with boulders and destroyed a bridge to prevent police access to their areas, said at least four of their people, including a 12-year-old boy, sustained bullet injuries in the unprovoked firing even as police said it was mob attack on the cops angry over the publication of gazette on notification for the acquisition.
‘At least five policemen were injured in the mob attack. We have no report of any injury of the villagers,’ Inspector General of Police – Raj Kanojia told IANS in Kolkata.
‘It was a mob attack on the policemen,’ Kanojia said. The injured policemen included two assistant sub-inspectors.
‘They have fired at least 15 rounds and injured four villagers. The injured included a 12-year-old,’ said Sheikh Khusbani, a teacher from Nandigram in East Midnapore district while another villager claimed that the police attacked processionists protesting against the notification peacefully.
‘We will give blood and our life but not our land. We don’t want industry. They are trying to grab our home and hearth,’ said Samsur, a villager from Nandigram, summing up the explosive situation in Nandigram.
Footage shown by news channel Kolkata TV showed villagers digging roads to prevent police access to the area.
The agitation of the villagers was led by an organisation called Gana Unnayan O Jana Adhikar Raksha Samity -, which is a constituent of the Singur Krishijami Raksha Committee -.
‘This will continue so long the government continues to keep people in the dark and not maintain transparency. The Nandigram incident is a continuation of the Singur movement only,’ said social activist Anuradha Talwar.
Talwar, an associate of Medha Patkar in West Bengal, said so long the government continued to bulldoze the people such things would happen.
The Congress and Socialist Unity Centre of India – have called a shutdown in the area to protest the police action.
Reports pouring in from the East Midnapore district said the angry mob also set on fire a police jeep in retaliation at Sonachura as violence escalated over the acquisition of land at Nandigram, about 150 km from here near the Haldia port town, for a chemical hub to be set up by Salim in collaboration with the government.
Reports said several people were injured in the firing even as people in large number were gathering in the area triggering fears of more violence. Heavy deployment of policemen was being made to deal with the situation as violence was spreading to other villages.
Hardly had the dust settled over the Singur land acquisition in Hooghly district, West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharya had a fresh troubled spot to cope with as tension gripped the area over land acquisition.
In East Midnapore the state government reportedly eyed over 22,000 acres of land for industrial projects.
Recently social activist Medha Patkar visited the area to support the villagers resisting the acquisition.
On July 31, the West Bengal government signed an agreement with the Salim Group of Indonesia to implement various developmental projects, including the setting up of a mega chemical industrial estate, including a chemical special economic zone – at Nandigram, spread across 10,000 acres in a 50:50 joint venture.
Construction of a four-lane road bridge over the Haldi River, from Haldia to Nandigram, has also been planned. The proposed bridge would provide a link between Haldia and the proposed chemicals SEZ in Nandigram. Link
Suspected rebel spills beans on red activity OUR CORRESPONDENT
Jamshedpur, Dec. 18: Chitaranjan Mahto, who the police claim is a veteran Maoist, is learn to have told the police about his “indirect involvement” in the December 10 attack on the Tata-Kharagpur Passenger at Chakulia.
The police have claimed that Mahto also told them about “at least a dozen” rebels who were involved in the incident.
Mahto was today forwarded to the Chakradharpur railway court. But, on the way to the court, the Tatanagar superintendent of railway police is said to have interrogated him.
During the questioning, Mahto is learnt to have divulged important information about the attack on the passenger train and also gave “crucial information” about Naxalite operations in the districts bordering Bengal, Orissa and Jharkhand.
Additional director-general of police (railway) Kumud Chowdhary told The Telegraph over the phone that Mahto was a “high-profile” rebel who propagates extremism among the villagers. “We have solid material evidence, suggesting Chito Mahto was a conduit in spreading Naxalism. We take the arrest as a big achievement,” said Chowdhury.
N.S. Gautam, a GRP inspector, said they will soon move court to take the rebel on a five-day police remand.
Mahto was arrested yesterday after Bengal and Jharkhand police conducted a joint raid.
Officers point to the bodies of one of the Maoists (left) and the CRPF jawan who were killed in Friday’s encounter. Picture by Shyamsundar Barui
Bankura, Dec. 16: A probe into last night’s encounter between the CRPF and a band of 70 Maoists has revealed that the rebels were on a mission to murder CPM leader Nabin Hembram.
The shootout left one CRPF jawan and two Maoists dead. The guerrillas had planned to drag Hembram out of his house in Bogdoba village in Barikul and set up a kangaroo court, where they would have killed him, said officials who conducted the preliminary investigation. Hembram is among the eight CPM leaders on the rebels’ hit list.
The armed gang arrived in the village, about 240 km from Calcutta, last night and headed to Hembram’s house. But the CPM leader was not home. So the Maoists took his daughter, Jyotsna, away.
“The extremists stormed our house around 8 pm and were looking for my father. When they could not find him, they dragged me out and took me to a nearby field in front of a primary school,” Jyotsna recalled, still shuddering at the memory. “They forced me to shout Maobad zindabad (long live Maoism).”
As Hembram’s daughter was being questioned , a group of 30 jawans, led by deputy superintendent of police (administration) Prasanta Dey, was patrolling the village.
“Suddenly, they heard conversations near the one-storeyed school building,” said an officer. “They immediately took position. Initially, they could not see anything because of the dark. It took them a few minutes to spot the large group that had assembled outside the school.”
One of the jawans then opened fire. The Maoists retaliated by firing and hurling bombs. “Two Maoists were killed in the first spell of firing,” said Bankura superintendent of police Rajesh Kumar Singh.
Bloodstains found on the forest routes through which the rebels fled suggest some of them were injured, Singh added.
According to the police, a woman named Sabita Kumari from Andhra Pradesh was leading last night’s operation. “Earlier, Jagari Baskey used to look after the action and elimination operations in this area. Now Sabita has taken over as Jagari is pregnant,” said an officer.
The police searched the school premises and found two bags. But they did not touch them or the bodies of the two rebels as there could be traps. The bodies were removed only after experts from the bomb disposal squad had examined them.
The police also found three .303 rifles at the spot. “One of these firearms had been snatched from the police in Purulia,” an officer said.
The police said last night’s encounter was the biggest in recent times.
CRPF-Maoist clash: No arrests yet, ‘combing’ on Express News Service
Kolkata, December 17: After hailing the Bagdubi encounter as a major boost to the morale of men in uniform, the Bankura Police is yet to make any arrests despite intense combing operations in border areas of West Midnapur, Bankura and Purulia.
Two Maoists and a CRPF jawan, Binod Kumar Roy, were killed in an encounter in Bagdubi Talab area under Barikul Police Station in Bankura on Friday night.
The slain Maoists are yet to be identified.
Meanwhile, the two injured CRPF jawans, Constables Dhyan Singh and Kuhal Roy, both 23, have been admitted to SSKM Hospital. According to CRPF sources, their condition is stable.
“Intense combing operations are on and we are hopeful of arresting the Maoist squad members,” said Rajesh Singh, Bankura police superintendent. “Combing operations are also on in the West Bengal-Jharkhand border areas along with Jharkhand police. (But) we are yet to identify the two slain Maoists.”
On Sunday, the police also stated that it is highly probable that the two women squad members who fought with the CRPF 171 battalion are Jagori Baski and Sulekha Mahato, the two much sought-after woman guerrillas from the outlawed outfit.
Meanwhile, security has been tightened in the Maoist-affected areas of West Midnapur, Bankura and Purulia in fear of retaliation. The CPI(M) district leadership has warned its leaders and cadres to take precautionary measures to thwart any retaliation attempt.
“We are also trying to locate the particular squad involved in the incident. Initially we thought that the slain Maoist was Ranjit Pal, who is a local man and one of the leaders of the action squad,” a police official said. “But his relatives later confirmed that the body was not his. “We are also looking at the involvement of an action squad led by Sasadhar Mahato.” Link
Midnapore/Jamshedpur, Dec. 17: Jharkhand police arrested a journalist from West Midnapore district of Bengal late last night for his alleged links with last week’s Maoist attack on a train near Chakulia station.
A team from Jharkhand police raided Chitto Mahato’s house in West Midnapore’s Shilda, about 210 km from Calcutta, last night.
On December 10, about 25 armed Maoists raided the Tatanagar-Kharagpur Passenger near Chakulia, shouting slogans against farmland acquisition for a Tata Motors factory in Bengal’s Singur. They snatched two rifles from the railway policemen.
Police today claimed that Mahato, the 30-year-old local correspondent of a daily newspaper published from Burdwan, not only knew about the attack on the train but also participated in the conspiracy. “He showed the attackers escape routes through the jungles and also helped them in other ways,” said S.P. Burnwal, the sub-divisional police officer of Ghatshila.
A day after the incident, Mahato had requested Jhargram block development officer Ullash Chatterjee to let him use his fax machine, saying he was expecting an “urgent massage” from a friend. But he allegedly sent himself a message from a shop at Shilda.
“Half of the message came and then the line got disconnected. It was purportedly from the rebels to the reporter, confirming the train raid,” said a Bengal police officer.
The police traced the shop from where the fax was sent. “Its owner confirmed that Chitto Mahato had sent it,” Burnwal confirmed.
In Mahato’s house, the police found pamphlets and other papers related to CPI (Maoist) activities. “We expect vital leads from him,” said a Jharkhand officer. Mahato is said to have confessed to have attended meetings in which the train raid was chalked out.
Sukhdeb Soren, who was allegedly involved in several attacks in Bengal’s Maoist-hit terrain, was held in Ghatshila yesterday. “Soren, who is now in Bengal police’s custody, has confirmed that he knows Chitto Mahato,” said Burnwal.
Meanwhile, Naxalites raided a road-bridge construction site near Ghatshila and looted Rs 1.25 lakh from one of the officials.
Is Singur under siege? Tuesday, December 05, 2006 22:55 IST There is a growing perception that Naxals are taking over the anti-Tata Motors agitation from Mamata Banerjee
KOLKATA: The 24-hour bandh on Tuesday by Naxalite organisations and SUCI may have fallen flat in West Bengal, but the emergence of urban youths inspired by Naxalism at the forefront of the opposition of Tata Motors small car project in the state is proving ominous for both the government and Opposition leader Mamata Banerjee.
Distinct from rural Maoist extremists in the districts, the city-bred Naxal sympathisers, who are heading for Singur to oppose taking over of farm land for industry may be small in number right now, but possibilities of a Naxal revival in Bengal campuses is haunting both chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattachary as well as Mamata Banerjee.
For the state administration, the Naxals have added a new dimension since usual administrative and policing measures adopted to tackle Maoists in the districts will not do within city limits. As for Mamta Banerjee, these Naxals threaten to hijack her sole political slogan to beat the leftists with.
The Trinamul chief had once made common cause with Maoists in Midnapore, ahead of elections only to be left in the lurch by them to face full brunt of left organisations after electoral drubbing.
However, the resurrected Naxalite fragment has been successful in shifting the focus on the Singur issue from Mamata as is evident from two recent events — the Saturday police-agitator skirmish at Singur and Monday’s vandalism at a Kolkata’s Tata Motors’ showroom. In both cases, educated students from different universities owing alliance to the Naxalites were in the forefront brushing aside activists of the Trinamool-founded ‘Singur Krishijami Raksha Committee’.
The Trinamool Congress students’ wing, Trinamool Chattra Parishad (TCP), however, overruled the possibility that Naxalites are hijacking the issue. According to TCP state chief, Baishwanar Chatterjee, the Naxalite faction in West Bengal does not have the strength to organise a statewide protest on this issue.
“Our party chief has also called for an all-party movement on this issue. That is why we are organising joint protest but Trinamool is in the leadership position on that issue,” Chatterjee said.
For chief minister Buddhadev Bhattacharjee, the big question is how to counter this new movement. The Monday vandalism at the Tata showroom has shifted the focus from the agriculture versus industry debate to law and order issues.
“We have found out that the Naxal outfit Revolutionary Socialist Front was behind Monday’s vandalism. We strongly condemn the incident,” the chief minister said.
On one hand, he is unable to counter these neo-Naxals politically as he had done in case of Mamata, since their movement is not restricted to “dandi march” or fasting, but violence.
On the other, a full-fledged police action is not possible, since that can give a political advantage to these Naxalites considering the time and issue they are agitating on. More security for Tata showrooms
DNA Correspondent A youth flees after vandalising the car showroom in Calcutta on Tuesday.
KOLKATA: Security of all the Tata Motors’ showrooms and outlets throughout West Bengal is now the priority of the state, after the vandalism at such a showroom by activists of Naxal-affiliated Revolutionary Students’ Front (RSF) at the state capital on Monday.
DCP PK Chattopadhyay said, all the major showrooms and outlets of Tata Motors have been identified and police have been instructed to keep a close watch on such outlets.
Special police guards would also be deputed at these showrooms if necessary, he said.
He also said arrangements would be made for smaller outlets once they are identified.
However, the police could not yet arrest those RSF agitators involved with the Monday vandalism.
Maoists detonate landmines near Purulia Purulia (WB), Dec 02: Suspected Maoists detonated six landmines in quick succession with remote control devices at a barren patch of land along Purulia’s border with Jharkhand this afternoon creating panic in nearby areas.
The area is close to Bandwan, a Naxalite stronghold.
District Police Superintendent A K Prasad had rushed to the site with reinforcements.
Police said it was the handiwork of Maoists aimed at creating panic, police said adding their experts had collected splinters and started investigations.
An anti-mine vehicle had started detection operations in the entire area.
Arms haul hints at red route shift OUR CORRESPONDENT
Bokaro, Nov. 27: A team of security personnel recovered a huge cache of arms and ammunition, including hand grenades, detonators, gelatin sticks, binoculars and Naxalite literature, early this morning from the the Lugu Pahadi region of Bokaro barely 16 km from Purulia in Bengal.
The incident gives a clear indication of the movement of the Maoists towards the Bengal border, contradicting the trajectory towards the Parasnath (Giridih) and Bihar zone that was charted out in a confidential intelligence report submitted to the home ministry.
Bengal, it is believed, provides the outlawed rebels a safer gateway to Chhattisgarh and Andhra Pradesh, particularly in the face of the increasing security glare in the Jhumra hills, once considered a red bastion and the breeding ground of top Maoist leaders.
According to sources, the security team, acted on a tip-off provided by three informers and launched a raid in the region.
However, the team failed to arrest any of the Naxalites, who, it was apparent, had run away after being intimated of the hunt.
Comrades it is believed this raid was lead by none other that Comrade Sabitha Kumari,the very mention of the name strikes fear in the hearts and minds of the Khaki Rakshashas,
She is immensely respected and loved by the masses. She has already become a legend and part of folklore in and around the areas where she operates, with the people constantly exchanging stories of her exploits and courage.
Woman leads raid, jawans cower and hide in their camps “For two hours they fired at the camp challenging the (India Reserve Battalion) jawans in Hindi to come out and fight. Not a soul dared to come out. Even the sentries positioned behind sandbags scurried inside,”
Chhurimara (Belpahari), Nov. 23: A band of 70 Maoists led by a “tall young woman” sabotaged a showpiece road scheme at a West Midnapore village in Bengal today as paramilitary jawans cowered inside their camp just yards away.
The squad — the largest seen in any guerrilla operation in Bengal — torched eight trucks and pay-loaders serving a Prime Minister’s Gram Sadak Yojana project that would have given security forces better access to Maoist hubs.
Some 25 women were part of the group that arrived in pre-dawn darkness and split into two. One surrounded the police camp at Chhurimara, about 250 km from Calcutta, and the other advanced to the project labourers’ huts in the village’s Santhalpara locality.
“For two hours they fired at the camp challenging the (India Reserve Battalion) jawans in Hindi to come out and fight. Not a soul dared come out. Even the sentries positioned behind sandbags scurried inside,” said labourer Priyanath Hansda.
At Santhalpara, Mailo Soren clearly saw “a tall and lean woman with cropped hair giving orders to her comrades in Bengali and Hindi”.
“We suspect the leader was Sabita Kumari, a girl in her early twenties from Jharkhand who was trained in Maoist camps in Andhra Pradesh,” a police officer said.
Soren said the rebels, dressed in army fatigues, shook the labourers awake and assembled them on the roadside where barrels of diesel were stored for the trucks and pay-loaders. “They ordered us to empty the barrels on the vehicles and set fire to them.”
As they disappeared into the sal and mohua forests, the guerrillas took away a motorcycle.
An officer said the Maoists wanted to stop the road construction. “The guerrillas use a forest corridor to travel to and from Jharkhand. It’s close to the state borders in Purulia, Jharkhand and West Midnapore. If good roads are built, the forces can step up vigil.”
A shivering Duryodhan De, construction supervisor, said, “I will not stay here a minute longer. There is no question of continuing with the road construction.”
The owner of the construction company, Sunil Rana, was equally frightened. “How can I work under such conditions?”
District police chief R. Rajsekharan said a landmine attached with a 50-foot wire had been found.
Taking no chances, the police would guard it till bomb experts arrived from Calcutta tomorrow morning.
Sudipta Chanda SILIGURI, Oct. 11: The Maoists, who thus far had kept the tea industry off limits, has allegedly turned the heat on the industry. For the first time, the management of a tea estate in Jalpaiguri district has received a letter allegedly signed by a CPI-M (Maoist) area commander instructing him to, “leave the job,” or face, “the death sentence.”
The recipient of the letter Mr Premchand Jain, manager of Tasati Tea Estate situated under the Falakata police station has informed the Jalpaiguri SP about the development. “We are aware of the letter and are probing into the matter,” the Jalpaiguri SP, Mr Tripurari, admitted today.
According to Mr Jain, he received the letter on 18 September. “The letter has reference to an incident of workers’ unrest in the plantation that occurred in the month of May. One staff member was dismissed following that incident and the case is pending at the labour department,” Mr Jain, said. “The letter apparently signed by a CPI-M (Maoist) area commander has directed me to leave the job or prepare for the death blow,” the manager added.
According to him a copy of the letter was also sent to his Kolkata office. Security has been arranged for Mr Jain during the night hours but the Indian Tea Planters’ Association, of which Tasati is a member, wants enhanced security for him. “The manager remains exposed to assault during the day hours, which needs to be taken care of,” the ITPA principal adviser Mr NK Basu wrote to the Jalpaiguri SP yesterday.
Statesman News Service SILIGURI, Sept 21: Poles apart policywise, the CPI-ML (New Democracy) and the Kamtapur Peoples’ Party are but projecting a united face on the issue of the agitating prisoners at the North Bengal Medical College and Hospital and at the Jalpaiguri Correctional Home.
The prisoners arrested as suspected KLO, Ulfa and Maoist activists have resorted to a hunger-strike demanding trial. The CPI-ML (New Democracy) and the Kamtapur Progressive Party have taken up their cause and have decided to express solidarity by holding a parallel hunger-strike and sit-in-demonstration in Siliguri on 25 and 26 September.
“Try them or release them,” is what the two organisations are demanding. According to the leadership of the two organisations, the family members of the agitating prisoners would also join the stir as would human rights and social welfare activists.
The two organisations plan to intensify their movement jointly after the Pujas on a horde of other issues including the state government’s policy to acquire land for industrialisation, wage increase, preference for local employment and others. To launch the immediate stir, the New Democracy and the Kamtapur Progressive Party have decided to shelve their original demands of armed struggle and Kamtapur statehood respectively, for the time being.
Admitting that their philosophies were miles apart, New Democracy leader Mr Sridhar Mukherjee said: “The issue in question transcends the party line. We are not choosy about who we join forces with on such issues.”
KPP leader Mr Atul Roy too said that his organisation was keeping the statehood demand aside for the time being. “It is a question of human rights, which cuts across the party line,” he added. The two organisations brought out a rally in support of their demand in the town today. In addition to initiation of the prisoners’ trial without delay, the two organisations have also raised the demand of compensation for the prisoners’ families.