[Marxism] India: Sanhati statement on the killing of Azad, spokesperson of CPI(Maoist), in an alleged fake encounter

newsletter at sanhati.com newsletter at sanhati.com
Thu Jul 8 20:05:18 MDT 2010

Sanhati has issued the following statement.


We strongly condemn the heinous killing of Cherukuri Rajkumar aka Azad,
spokesperson and Politbureau member of CPI(Maoist), and Hemchandra Pandey,
a freelance journalist. Although the Andhra police claimed that they were
killed in an alleged encounter in the hills of Adilabad in Andhra Pradesh,
multiple reports strongly indicate that they were abducted by the Special
Intelligence Branch (SIB) of Andhra Police from Nagpur, Maharashtra and
then murdered, before their dead bodies were left in Adilabad. We join all
democratic-minded people in demanding a thorough enquiry by an independent
citizens’ group into the incident which would provide a clear picture of
the sequence of events that led to their illegal abduction and killing and
which should lead to the prosecution of all personnel involved in the
crime. Simultaneously, we demand the immediate disbanding of all such
quasi-secret branches of the security establishment, whose sole aim seems
to be silencing the voices of resistance.

These killings are occurring with the Operation Green Hunt in the
background, in the name of battling the influence of CPI(Maoist) in the
forest areas of East-Central India. But, in reality, the Green Hunt is a
militarized project of the central and state governments for grabbing land,
by breaking and clearing people’s resistances, for eventual exploitation of
natural resources by multinational corporations. During this operation,
that has been on since October 2009, there has been complete blackout on
the information of what is happening in these remote areas, with sometimes
news leaking out of incidents of severe state repression in the hands of
the joint state and central forces, threatening the life and livelihood of
people in this region. Any attempts by civil liberties activists or
independent journalists to access these areas have led to detentions and
even arrests. In the last few months, several activists belonging to
different kinds of resistances in these regions and also in urban areas
have either been killed or imprisoned under draconian laws.

Foreseeing the disastrous impact that Green Hunt would have on the common
people in those regions, from the very beginning, different sections of
civil society have called for a dialog among the state and different facets
of the resistance, including the CPI(Maoist) and different people’s
organizations involved in struggles in the adivasi regions. Several
attempts to make any progress in these efforts have failed, with different
politicians, bureaucrats and security officers continuously attempting to
scuttle discussions on these possibilities. In recent days, a glimmer of
any headway had risen due to the civil society initiative represented by
Swami Agnivesh, with the Home Minister P. Chidambaram and Azad, as
spokesperson of CPI(Maoist) responding to him via letters detailing the
suitable conditions under which dialog can begin. It is reported that Azad
was on his way to consult other members of CPI(Maoist) in order to decide
future steps for going ahead with this current initiative, when he was
allegedly abducted and killed by the SIB - thus throwing the possibility of
talks into complete disarray. Such an act - the murder of a spokesperson of
the political organization with which dialog is supposedly being planned -
at this crucial juncture by security agencies thus raises serious doubts
regarding the sincerity of the state to the process of resolving the
conflict through any dialog. Any confidence that the common people would
have had in the process is completely shattered.

What happens now ? With sections of media commentators encouraging more
pinpointed decapitation of the rebel leadership, and reports of
strongly-worded rhetoric from CPI(Maoist) leaders, the possibility of an
immediate resumption of the process leading to any dialog seems to be
receding, with the spectre of Operation Green Hunt continuing to haunt the
lives of people.

Meanwhile, the multitude of protests across the country, after the
inception of Green Hunt, has certainly brought to the forefront the
single-most important issue confronting us - a debate on the development
paradigm to be followed which would lead to justice and prosperity for the
vast majority of the people, currently reeling under neo-liberal economic
policies of the governments. This is the burning question and this would
inevitably be the central issue during any dialog if it was to occur - in
which, people from all segments of the society, specially the marginalized,
could significantly contribute. This fundamental debate the ruling class
certainly does not desire and that is possibly why the state continuously
dithers and tries to stall, by various mischievous means, any progress
leading to any form of dialog, trying to scuttle, divert and divide
people’s movements on questions like violence/non-violence etc. Therefore,
the burden of responsibility lies with the civil society to continue to
remain focused and united in demanding an end to the military campaign of
the state, while vigorously campaigning for a genuine national debate on
questions related to development. We remain committed to this process.

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