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Condemn the State Terror in Lalgarh, West Bangal

by De, Jogin, Kaustav, Mazdoor Mukti Committee, P.R. Ghosh, Prosit Das, Protibadi Udyog, Radical Socialist , Sramajeevi Samiti, 6 July 2009

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Lalgarh is invaded. Lalgarh is bloody. In the name of stopping Maoist
activities, the combined forces acting on behalf of the Indian state have
declared war on the people with such alacrity, and have established a
nightmare of terrorism in village after village, that words fail us in our
attempt to condemn them.

We believe that in the name of tackling the Maoists, the government is
seeking to negate the legitimate demands of the Lalgarh movement, and at the same time to annihilate that movement and its leading organization, the
Peoples’ Committee Against Police Atrocities (Polisi Sontras Birodhi
Janaganer Committee). In this context, we want to remind the government that for the so-called “decline of the law and order situation” in Lalgarh, the
state and the central governments are both responsible. The people of that
region have been compelled to take the path of protest and resistance
because of the long years of ill-treatment, exploitation as well as the
recent spate of police tortures.

Had the least alacrity comparable to that which is being displayed to
establish the “rule of Law” been shown in improving the quality of life of
the people of Lalgarh, then there would have been no question of civil
disobedience. The immense funds that are going today to discipline
insubordinate masses, had they been spent in order to supply drinking water, water for irrigation, or to set up primary schools or health centres in the Lalgarh area, then people would not have been compelled to engage in a rebellion as they have done today, and the “cause” of unleashing the current ferocious military operation would not have arisen. If the billions of
rupees that are wasted in order to provide security for ministers,
bureaucrats and members of parliament had instead been spent in order to
provide minimum comfort for the masses of common people, then the security of the bigwigs would not have been disturbed at all.

While the basic security needs of the people of India today call for food,
clothing and housing for all, the Prime Minister of the country declares
(and all the parliamentary parties lend their voices to the chorus) that the
Maoists are the principal security threat. This lays bare their mentality,
and the nature of will and sincerity behind their plans.

We demand the revocation of the ban on the CPI(Maoist) by the Union
Government. We simultaneously demand that the state government must not apply the ban order. We also oppose the demand being made from certain quarters, including the Trinamool congress, that the concerned area should be declared a “Disturbed area”. We believe such authoritarian steps will restrict the scope of democracy and further complicate the situation, while easing the path of establishing the reign of the police over the broad
masses.

Alongside this, we declare unhesitatingly that we can in no way approve of
certain types of incidents being caused by the Maoists in the name of
estasblishing the right of the people or waging the peoples’ emancipatory
struggles – deeds such as the killing of individuals, passing “death
penalties” through, or in the name of, peoples’ courts, causing landmine
explosions, killing, beating up members and sympathizers of opponent
political parties and threatening or terrorising their family members,
obtaining bonds from them, and so on. In our opinion, such activities give
rise to an anti-democratic political culture, they trample underfoot human
feelings, harm the possibility of widest mobilizations for the peoples’
legitimate struggles, lower reliance on the people’s own fighting power, and
at the same time they hand over to the state power an excuse to repress the legitimate struggles of the people. All this has indeed happened this time.

With grave concern, we have noted that though the PCAPA has repeatedly
announced that it is not a Maoist organization and that it does not
acknowledge responsibility for the activities of the Maoists, still the
PCAPA leadership has failed to fully dissociate itself from such activities.
In a few cases, referring to the plea of “peoples’ anger”, they have
protected such activities. While expressing our solidarity with the Lalgarh
movement, we appeal to the PCAPA to reconsider this issue.

At the end, we demand from the government that it must move away from its strategy of repressing mass struggles and silencing the language of anger and resistance by the power of its guns. At the same time, we demand that the government must respect the anger and the spirit of protest of the people of the region, sit down to negotiate with all concerned forces including their representative organizations, and accept their legitimate demands.

We appeal to the people to join protests and resistance campaigns against
the barbaric muscle-flexing by the state against the fighting people. Let us
unite to demand:

  • Immediately halt the military expedition to Lalgarh
  • Stop repression and harassment in the villages on all the people,
    including women and children
  • Accept the legitimate demands of the people of Lalgarh area
  • Negotiate with the Peoples’ Committee Against Police Atrocities
  • Rescind the ban on the CPI (Maoist)
  • Unconditionally release all those arrested on the charge of, or
    suspected of, being Maoists
  • Make public the amount of public money squandered by the state in the
    Operation Lalgarh

2 July 2009

Protibadi Udyog, Mazdoor Mukti Committee, Radical Socialist, Sramajeevi
Samiti, and Prosit Das, Jogin, Kaustav, De, P.R. Ghosh