Your e-mail reached me a few days back but I could not reply due to illness. I am sorry for the delay.
I heard about the murder of NREGA activist Niyamat Ansari in Latehar by a Maoist squad. I strongly condemn the murder.
This murder, along with many other murders committed by the Maoists in Jharkhand, Lalgarh and other areas is the inevitable culmination of a line followed by the Maoists – the line of establishing exclusive control over any area by physically eliminating not only their opponents but any activism which is different from them. They won’t allow any political activity or mass movement which is not directed by them. They want to establish the dictatorship of their squads in the areas under their influence. Anybody who helps them with money or material, irrespective of his class position is their friend.
From the beginning of the movement in Lalgarh we have steadfastly supported the people’s agitation against police repression and for autonomy of Jangalmahal. It started as a movement by the masses and many social and political organisations joined it. Most significant was the participation of Bharat Jakat Majhi Marwa, a social organisation of Santhals. But the Maoists destroyed the people’s unity by killing Sudhir Mandi in the end of November 2008. Sudhir was a leader of Majhi Marwa. He was also the Chairman of Belpahari Panchayet Samiti during 2003-08. Nowadays, a Chairman of a Panchayet Samiti handles several crores of rupees in a year. But Sudhir lived in a thatched mud-house and earned his living through cultivation of Sabui grass in few bighas of unirrigated land. His only offence was that he refused to act according to orders of the Maoist squads. I criticised this killing. I drew the attention of a team of intellectuals from Delhi (led by Amit Bhaduri and Gautam Navlakha) who visited Lalgarh in early 2009 to this incident and requested them to visit Sudhir’s house and see for themselves if Sudhir was such a corrupt person as to attract capital punishment. But nobody bothered about it.
During 2009 and 2010, more than 400 people have been killed by the Maoists in Jangalmahal, most of them being Adibasis, Dalits and other poor people. Majority of them were CPI(M) supporters. But more than 30 members and supporters of various factions of Jharkhand Party were also killed. Among the killed persons were women and the old. Class-wise they were agricultural labourers and poor peasants and some ICDS workers and primary school teachers. In 2010, the Maoists formed an alliance with the Trnamool Congress and started attacking our supporters. Now, on the eve of the Assembly election they are hand in glove with the Trinanmool Congress and are helping them to win the seats in the Jangalmahal. This is the logical conclusion of the disastrous line followed by them. When an alliance of Congress and Trinamool is going all out to win the Assembly election, the Maoists have stood as their ally.
My suggestion is that all organisations and individuals who opposed the murder of Azad in a fake encounter, supported the demand for release of Dr Binayak Sen, oppose Operation Green Hunt, support the people in their struggle for livelihood and against state terror, and are committed to the concept of pluralism in political life, should join hands to launch a countrywide campaign on these issues and the murder of Niyamat Ansari should be taken up as part of this campaign. If anybody takes such an initiative we are ready to join hands with them.
Yours sincerely,Santosh Rana,
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