We want end of Terrorism: everywhere in India – including Lalgarh

By Prabir Ghosh

Why is there so much bloodshed? Why such terrorism everywhere?

Any honest and impartial person is against terrorism. We too, the rationalists and   humanists are against any kind of murder, torture and terrorism. We sincerely wish that all this mindless killings should come to an end. Why is there so much of terror in this country?

Let us first take the case of this state – West Bengal.

During the last 32 years of Left-front rule, 45000 people were killed.

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In the terrorist nation India, all the terrorist political parties thrive.

The surprising fact is that most of the political parties of India are up against terrorism and are ever ready to implement ‘stringent anti-terrorism measures’ to combat terrorism. At the same time, these very political parties themselves are nothing but terrorist groups.

In 1996, Amnesty International had presented a report. On investigating upon 150 countries, they identified 82 nations where the state machinery resorted to ‘terrorism’ as a routine practice. The governments of all these countries use the following methods as part of their administration—kidnapping, killing in cold blood in the name of ‘encounter’ with police or military, illegally detaining indefinitely without filing case, not allowing to take legal help, entering the house at night without search-warrant, arresting without the presence of witness and then claiming to have found weapons or objectionable papers with the arrested person, — these are examples of dirty criminal acts perpetrated by the states.

India is one among these 82 nations identified by Amnesty Intl.

‘State terrorism’ is severe in the North-eastern states – Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura, Mizoram, Manipur, Nagaland, West Bengal, Jharkhand, Orissa, in Kashmir in Northern India, in Chhattisgarh in central India and in Andhra Pradesh in South. The atrocities carried out by the state machinery are unimaginable. The gravity of it is beyond the comprehension of people outside these regions. It is more so because the media are never truly impartial. They have to toe the line of the ruling party or the rich and powerful opposition. The media in West Bengal do the same by suppressing or distorting news, or even by total blackout in some cases. Sometimes they are shadows of CPM party, and as soon as the tables turn, they hang around the opposition leader, travel with her, fly with her, lifting her sky-high only to pull her down and ridicule her later as time comes. It is they who create Maoist leaders like ‘Kishenji’ or ‘Bikash’ and make exclusive stories.

It is these media who truncate the name “Public Committee against Police Atrocities” (PCAPA) to make it only “Public Committee”. The words ‘police atrocities’ probably sound too harsh to them!

‘Public Committee against Police Atrocities’

It was an afternoon on November 2008; Chief Minister Buddahdeb Bhattacharya and Central minister Rambilas Paswan were returning through Shalboni in their convoy after inaugurating a proposed Steel plant by the Jindal group. The Maoists triggered an explosion aiming at the convoy. After this incident which missed the CM’s vehicle and slightly injured a few others, the police started massive operation and arbitrary arrests.

Under the leadership of Police Superintendent of West Midnapur district, they entered tribal houses some 70 kilometers away from the spot and arrested some schoolboys of 7th and 8th class, an old retired schoolteacher and some others as ‘suspected Maoists’. During this action they reportedly roughed up tribal women – the male police force manhandled and molested them, abused with vulgar threats.

The suppressed grievance of the long deprived local people exploded after this criminal offence. The poor tribal populace of the region united and formed the ‘Public Committee against Police Atrocities’. Their main demand was that – the Police Super and the misbehaving police personnel have to come to the Tribal village and publicly apologize for their mistake and misdemeanor.

Now, the West Bengal government always appears as the savior of the police whenever they are in trouble. We have seen it before – in Singur, Nandigram, Khejuri, Memari in Burdwan and in case of the hapless Rizwanur. The Police actively participated in genocide, loot, rape and setting fire. The police force usually comes as the pilot convoy before the armed hooligan party-cadres and together they jointly carry out the massacre. In return, the Buddhadeb government takes good care of the police force, turning a blind eye to all their crimes. So, when the PCAPA made their demand, the Chief Secretary of Buddha government called a press conference and announced – that there could be no question of apologizing.

The self-respecting poor tribal people could not digest this kind of arrogance. They started a movement – PCAPA—and are continuing it for the following eight months. The leader of the committee, Sri Chhatradhar Mahato pointed out that some of the media are diverting  attention from the police by shortening the name to just ‘People’s Committee’, ignoring the point of Police atrocities.

We saw on television that Chhatradhar and the common people of Lalgarh considered the Maoists as their friends, who came as their savior.

In eight months Lalgarh saw progress that did not happen in the past 32 years.

Some able and sympathetic people came forward to help the PCAPA. They showed them the way to become self-reliant, to unite and work together to make self-ruled villages. The villagers joined hands to work together and made unimaginable progress in a few months. What the left-front government failed to do in 32 years, they did in 8 months –claims Chhatradhar. A 60 feet deep reservoir to store water for irrigation, miles of canals cleaned and channeled to the fields, tube-wells in villages for drinking water, 50 kilometers of solid gravel road that saved them a long detour to go to the nearest Midnapore town; these are some of their achievements. A health centre with a doctor is also set up by them. All this has been done by the villagers themselves without any help from the state.

Some able and sympathetic people who came forward to help and guide these villagers have been branded as ‘Maoists’ by the CPI (M). Once you call them ‘Maoists’, they can be arrested, detained without trial or better still, killed in the name of encounter. So simple!

It is only natural that the cruel and fascist CPI (M) government will call these people ‘Maoists’ or ‘Terrorists’.

But the tribal Adivasis (literal meaning = original inhabitants) call them friends. It is the ‘Police people’ that are the ‘real enemies’; no, not even hunger and poverty. They have learnt to live with them. It is further torture and humiliation that infuriate them.

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In India infested with terrorists, the CPI (M) is the largest terrorist group

In the past 32 years, there have been 45000 political killings. Of that 40000 have been perpetrated by the ruling party CPI (M). In cruelty, comparable only to the Nazis, this outfit has carried out genocide in Marichjhapi, Naxalbari, Sainbari, Kashipur, Baranagar, Beliaghata, Dhantala, Bantala, Ghoksadanga, Keshpur, Garbeta, Arambag, Nandigram etc during their long tenure. The cruelty of these massacres was unimaginable.

Even after all this, why the Central government is not taking steps to ban this party is a mystery. Is it because in future they may again have to tie the knot with this party at the centre? The party that believes in genocide as a political weapon should be banned in the state at least!

The reader must be wondering why all these facts were not made public so long. It is mainly because of the left inclined media owners and intellectuals who were in some way indebted to the leftist government. They, out of their own sense of gratitude kept mum all these years. All the wrong ideas got publicity. We were told that even if you take up arms against police, military or ruling party workers in self defense, it is tantamount to going against the Nation/State. It is ‘Terrorism’. These fighters are ‘terrorists’ – even if they are poor, hungry and naked. Even if they live without electricity, water supply or health care and get humiliated and tortured by police at regular intervals.

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We are clearly against terrorism and cold blooded man-slaughter

Each and every progressive, rational and humane person must be against mindless cruelty. At the same time one has to agree that continuous deprivation, ill-treatment, neglect and above all, state-terrorism can steamroll the people to make them revolt at a point of time– to make them rise up to counter-terrorism. Such possibility cannot be ruled out.

Finally genocide and counter-killings go on to cripple the society. We cannot think of a beautiful society to live in, to progress towards a better future. So we express our strong hatred and disapproval of all the terrorist political parties and terrorism of the state.

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An example of an ideal ‘terrorist’ state

18 June, 2009: To suppress the terrorist upheaval the state police and the central armed forces have jointly entered the jungle-covered Lalgarh, the poorest region of West Bengal.

Quoting from the first page of daily paper Bartaman – a tribal woman Usharani from Kuldiha says – “On Friday afternoon, I sat with two morsels of rice to feed my child. Police came, kicked and broke open the door. They entered in a group, kicked and overturned the plate of rice. They ransacked and broke everything in the house. We are Maoists, they said. They threw everything we had – plates, vessels, sacks of rice and daal – everything into the well. Before leaving they threatened to sexually abuse me”.

The experience is more or less the same in households in the villages of Kuldiha, Goaldanga, Kankshol, Malida, Sarberia, Peyarakuli, Pechapora and 40 others like them. The people all belong to Tribal community or aborigines of the place. Police and central forces manhandled the women, lifting their saris in the name of frisking, beating with lathis, and ridiculed them offering their services at night in the absence of their husbands. In some places, they urinated in the wells or put their excreta rendering them unfit for drinking.

Next day we saw the shocking picture (Times of India) of local boys being made to look for landmines, while the police personnel were behind them with their weapons. This is a definite case of gross violation of human rights.

We hereby draw the attention of National Human Rights Commission, with a request for immediate enquiry and steps against the police involved.

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What is going on? Is it warfare?

Are Indian soldiers fighting with their own countrymen?

Now if any foreigner questions the very character of our Nation, and calls it a terrorist state, do we have a reply?

[Author is Gen. Secretary of the Science & Rationalists Association of India and President of Humanists’ Association]

Picture courtesy: THE TELEGRAPH and THE TIMES OF INDIA

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2 Responses to “We want end of Terrorism: everywhere in India – including Lalgarh”

  1. kausiksarkar1 8 January 2011 at 7:24 AM #

    Dear Prabir da,

    Again I’m telling such type of writing/comments are not possible without a Genius.I think this is the true fact at this stage,which you’ve written/mentioned in this article.This should be read of every people.I believe also we will awake again for the same,who are till sleeping.

    Congratulation & Hats Off our ‘Guru’ Prabir da.You don’t know what you’ve done in this artcle.

    Again thanks for your such type of bold comments/protests.We are always with you.Request to all people to come & protest with Prabir da & SRAI.

    Regards,

    Kausik Sarkar/Baranagar/Kolkata

  2. asit guin 29 August 2014 at 10:03 AM #

    On November 2, 2008 a landmine explosion occurred while the convoy of the Union Steel Minister and the West Bengal Chief Minister was passing Salboni, 50 kilometers away from Lalgarh. Seven people, including three schoolboys from Lalgarh, were arrested by the police in connection with this incident. This was followed by a sequence of further raids by the police, in which not just men, but children, old people and women were also subjected to various atrocities. Fed up with this sub-human treatment, the people of the area have ultimately formed themselves into a Polishi Santrash Birodhi Janasadharaner Committee, PCAPA. Fact-finding Team Members visited the area and raised voice in favor of PCAPA. Fact finding committee members: Amit Bhaduri, economist, Professor Emeritus, JNU; Madhu Bhaduri, womens’ rights activist, IFS, former ambassador to Vietnam; Vidya Das, adivasi rights activist, Agragamee, Kashipur, Orissa; Gautam Navlakha, PUDR, consulting editor, EPW; Colin Gonsalves, Supreme Court lawyer, Human Rights Law Network; Aseem Srivastava, economist, writer, activist; Kaustav Banerjee, economist, CSD, Delhi; Budhaditya Das, student, DU; Manika Bora, student, JNU; Sudipta, human rights activist, Adhikar, Asansol, West Bengal. Today , we know that chhitamani murmu, one victim of police atrocity have withdrawn all cases against police. Police is her friend now. After Kishenji’s murder, police is now more friendly. So , like Nandigram and singur, Lalgarh movement is also a false movement. Where are the members of fact-finding committee.


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