Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Beware of these Double Faced Intellectuals. They can say anything, can do anything to save the situation for the Maoists.

Pro People or For the Violence :: Indentity Questioned.

We are the friends of Maoists , not the thousands of farmers, lobours, civilians and dutiful police officers slained or blasted on mines by the Maoists.........

I am unaware of Chhatradhar's Maoist identity : Mahasweta Devi

Kolkata, 6 October, 2009 : As the West Bengal government insists that arrested PCPA(People's Committe against Police Atrocities) leader Chhatradhar Mahato has links with Maoists, Magsaysay awardee writer Mahasweta Devi said on Tuesday that she was not aware of his Maoist connections.
"I am unaware whether Chhatradhar is a Maoist. Once, he came to my house with a group of women and crew of a TV channel. When I was told that the women were Maoists, I drove away all of them, including Chhatradhar," she said. Mahasweta said she had, however, met Mahato several times and "in all the meetings, I asked him to campaign against SEZs, or to demand ration cards for the poor."
On Monday, the writer had said Bengal Newz, the intellectuals would organise a rally in the city in support of Mahato.

Yesterday, asked whether intellectuals like Mahasweta Devi would be arrested for their reported links with Mahato, state Home Secretary Ardhendu Sen had evaded a direct reply, saying if evidence was found of anyone's association with Mahato, he or she would be questioned.

‘NGOs brought foreign money to fuel Lalgarh standoff '

Express News Service
Posted: Oct 05, 2009 at 0439 hrs IST

Kolkata In the course of investigations against People’s Committee Against Police Atrocities (PCAPA) leader Chhatradhar Mahato, the police have learnt that the PCAPA received regular funding from three foreign countries, which were channelised through various NGOs.
“The state government has sent a report to the Union Home Ministry stating that the PCAPA received huge amounts of money from foreign countries through several NGOs,” said a senior CID official.
According to investigators, Mahato never faced a crunch in funds to sponsor his activities in the Junglemahal area.
“We have received some clues suggesting the PCAPA received funds from foreign countries. Our investigation is on,” said Raj Kanojia, additional director-general, CID.
Director General of Police Bhupinder Singh also conceded: “Mahato bought an ambassador worth Rs 1.45 lakh. He used to spend a few lakhs in all his meetings in a bid to woo the tribals. We have learnt of some other facts too, but they cannot be made public at this stage of investigations.”
Adding that all arrested leaders of the Maoist action squad will be brought to Bhawani Bhaban for interrogation, the CID official said: “We have interrogated both Mahato and PCAPA treasurer Sukhshanti Baskey and have extracted a lot of information pertaining to the PCAPA funds. There are, however, several discrepancies.”
The police today showed Mahato photographs of several political leaders and activists of the state. He recognised them all, except the Maoist leaders and activists, it is learnt.
Baskey was, meanwhile, sent to police custody for eight days after being produced in court. “We are interrogating him to check the details of funds inflow,” said Anuj Sharma, special, DIG, CID.
CID sources also claimed that a team of 22 students from the city, including a few students of Jadavpur University, visited Lalgarh on a regular basis and provided funds to the PCAPA.
“We are preparing a list of the students. We have also learnt of a few professors being involved with the PCAPA,” said the CID official.
We support Mahato, not Maoists: intellectuals
“Let them come to my house and arrest me. I challenge Buddhadeb and his police. I have done no wrong and if these Fascists do not understand this, it is their problem,” said Mahasweta Devi, noted novelist and Gyanpith Award winner, in response to chief secretary Asok Mohan Chakrabarti warning that action would be taken against all those who had supported PCAPA leader Chattradhar Mahato.
Clarifying that the intellectuals never supported Maoists, she said: “They are murderers. But, we supported Chattradhar because he was spearheading a movement against police atrocities on tribals. We don’t know whether he has any connection with Maoists. That is for the police to see. Our battle for the rights of the people of Junglemahal will continue.” Actor and playwright Kaushik Sen voiced similar sentiments. “We are against Maoists. And we told Mahato that if he had any truck with them, he should break all ties. If Mahato did anything wrong, let law take its own course,” Sen said. Human Rights activist Sujata Bhadra argued that according to law, the government could not do any harm to them. “The UAPA was promulgated in July. Before that the Maoists were not banned. So if you had any connection with them before July, say collecting money for them you were not at fault. Buddhadeb babu is doing all these things because he wants to stifle the people’s movement,” Bhadra told The Indian Express.

Some NGOs under the scanner :

•Paschim Banga Khet Majur Samity: This NGO held up bus loads of engineers and staff working at the Nano site on August 28 and it was after their threats of intimidation that Tatas decided to stop sending staff to the plant. It’s headed by Anuradha Talwar, 49, a graduate of Lady Shri Ram College in Delhi and the Tata Institute of Social Sciences. Her husband Swapan Ganguly is secretary of the organisation.
Talwar and Ganguly established an NGO Gana Samhati Kendra in 1984 in Badu, North 24 Parganas. Talwar says that with funding from the Ford Foundation, they ran a project on healthcare and sanitation in villages. In 1987, they established the Khet Majur Samity, a trade union body, which they claim has no political affiliation.
The Samity monitored NREG progress in the state and exposed failures in its implementation. Today, the NGO runs an 11-acre “collective farm” and claims it is funded by collections from locals and donations. Eight acres are used for farming — which Talwar says sustains the residents — and three acres is for homestead. An estimated 115 locals live here, eating out of a mass kitchen that runs throughout the year.
“Industry is more powerful than agriculture,” says Talwar. “So agriculture and industry cannot sustain simultaneously. Industry always destroys agriculture. Industrial pollution will engulf agricultural land. So we are fighting to save agriculture from the Tata Motors plant in Singur.”
•National Alliance of Peoples Movement: Medha Patkar’s group has made repeated trips to Singur and Nandigram attacking farmland acquisition for industry. Initially, Patkar had her own programme but during the current phase of the agitation, she now shares the stage with Mamata and works in tandem with Talwar’s NGO. After Narmada, the NAPM has identified imperialism and globalisation as its enemies.
•Samhati Udyog: An alliance of no less than 10 organizations, including the Association for the Protection of Democratic Rights (APDR), NAPM, Khet Mazdoor Samiti, Mazdoor Kranti Parishad, Nari Atyachar Virodhi Manch, Ganapratirodh Mancha and the Bandi Mukti Committee. It was its secretary Samar Das, a former Naxalite, who began the first “survey” in Singur in June 2006 on the status of landlosers. His survey forms the basis of Mamata’s arguments but she fell out with him after the state government called him for direct talks. “Even if Mamata Banerjee opts out of the agitation, we will continue it,” he says. Samhati Udyog was also involved in Nandigram and claims to be working on rights of sharecroppers, minimum wage and distribution of pattas.
When asked about his sources of funding, Das declined to comment.
•Group For Rural Alternative Movement: Barely a year old, its secretary Mintu Dey says that all members are “Naxal-minded persons” from around Jadavpur University. The NGO was formed specifically to organise and support the farmers’ agitation in Singur.”There is no question of a compromise regarding Singur. If Tatas leave, so be it,” said Mintu Dey. Asked about his group’s funding, he said: “We get money from well-wishers and small collections from sympathizers.”
•Jana Sangharsha Samity: Set up during 1975 as part of Jayaprakash Narayan’s Nav Nirman movement, its single-point agenda today: socialism. Secretary Himanshu Mukherjee admits that the group has no “definitive” sphere of work. “We believe in socialism. Tatas should go back. That is the solution to all the problems in Singur. The control of these organisations are under the Maoists outfit for the benefit of social engineering as beleived by the experts.

Maoist Violence in Lalgarh, West Bengal, Must be Condemned

Posted by: Aditya Nigam June 17, 2009

The inevitable has happened. As soon as the election results came out and the wall of fear collapsed and mass anger against the ruling CPM became evident, the Maoists waiting in the wings have come out into the open. However, what is happening today in Lalgarh and other parts of West Bengal cannot be justified by pointing at the CPM’s totalitarian terror in the Bengal countryside.
According to reports, the violence, killings of CPM activists and members, especially in Lalgarh, has now acquired unprecedented proportions. CPM members are being driven out of their homes or killed. The offices of the party have been targeted on a large scale, not just in Lalgarh but elsewhere in West Bengal.
At Kafila, we had earlier, on 22 April, reported on what is going on in Lalgarh. That Maoists have been active in Lalgarh is well known. In this report filed after a visit to Lalgarh, Monobina Gupta had drawn attention towards the disjunction between the Maoist leadership’s designs and the local Maoist activists who were having to work along with the popular sentiment. Monobina’s report , went further:
In fact, curiously enough, the situation on ground zero is not going exactly in accordance with the plans of Maoist central leaders who favour stepping up violence. Insiders talk about a growing discordance between the central leadership and the ‘Maoist villager’, active in the movement. With the agitation forging ahead, Maoist central leaders want to have a firmer grip; they want landmines, killings, terror, systematic targeting of informers. But the grassroots ‘Maoist’ worker is unwilling. “They realize any such violent action will lead to their isolation and the death of the movement. But Maoist central leaders believe they made the movement and should have the right to control it,” said an insider. “One of the reasons villagers are sympathetic to Maoists is because they know them intimately, not as some distant commander, but the youth next door who works for and with the poor. But violence would find little endorsement,” he said.
Today, in the aftermath of the elections, the design of the Maoist central leadership seems to have won the day. Maoist cadre are out in the open. Activists associated with the movement and with the Lalgarh Sanhati Mancha, confess to a feeling of helplessness as the armed Maoist cadre threaten to take over and derail the movement that has so far afforded little space to its politics of violence.
In some of our earlier posts, we had condemned Maoist violence in Chattisgarh, especially its threats against the human shields programme of the Vanvasi Chetna Ashram and the wanton killings by them in Nayagarh in Orissa (22 February 2008). The latter was a statement issued by eleven intellectuals and activists who had also been raising their voice against the Nandigram violence. This statement expressed its “complete opposition to this cult of violence” and had warned that:
The Maoist atrocity in Nayagarh is particularly unfortunate as it is detrimental to the various democratic mass movements all over Orissa that are resisting the policies of land grab and diversion of natural resources to global and domestic corporations. The Orissa government is bound to use this incident as yet another excuse to crack down on the militant but non-violent struggles of the people against unjust development policies in the state.
Today, once again, in West Bengal this is the threat that the democratic mass movement faces. Maoist violence is once again set to eliminate every intermediate space of democratic protest and struggle, leaving the villagers with only two options: either line up with the state or follow the Maoists. This is the picture everywhere, wherever the Maoists are in command, from Chattisgarh to parts of Andhra and Orissa. That is the challenge before democratic struggles and public opinion today.

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