Monthly Archives: May 2012

Statement condemning the proposed “National Counter-Terrorist Center” (NCTC) of the Indian government

 

Rise!                                                                                 Resist!                                                         Liberate!

REVOLUTIONARY DEMOCRATIC FRONT (RDF)

                Contact: revolutionarydemocracy@gmail.com

25 May 2012

Revolutionary Democratic Front (RDF) condemns in strongest words the proposed National Counter-Terrorism Center (NCTC) which the Indian state is planning to build. Formed clearly under the diktats as well as guidance of US Imperialism, this fascist institution is going to unleash severe repression on all voices of dissent and criminalize protests of all kinds in the garb of fighting ‘terrorism’.  The NCTC is going to be a central body and it has given its officers powers of arrests, search and seizures under the draconian UAPA. The Indian state which has capitulated completely in front of the imperialist powers, indeed require such draconian punitive measures to curb the mounting resistance of people against the loot of resources, and devastation of lives and livelihood in the name of ‘development’.

The US has played pivotal role in determining ‘internal security’ of India since quite some time now. In the year 2000 the NDA government allowed the FBI to open its first outpost in New Delhi to keep watch on ‘US interests’. This was further bolstered by the signing of New Framework Agreement for US-India Defense Relationship in 2005 and the 123 Nuclear Agreement. The current NCTC is clearly fashioned under US guidance and directions to institutionalize US terrorism on Indian soil. The “counter terrorism policy” of US has openly declared the formation of such mechanism for information gathering, undertaking of covert operations, use of non-state actors, use of and attacks by drones and they have pledged full baking of the US military and intelligence in all such operations. NCTC is clearly a product of this collaboration of Indian state with US.

The institution is going to centralize all powers related to matters of ‘internal security’ to the hands of Central Home Ministry subverting even the pretension of federalism. Law and order which is a matter under the state government will be taken to the hands of the centre completely resulting into dangerous centralization of power. All authorities including functionaries of the state government, including the police department, are bound to provide information, documents and reports to the NCTC. This will give supreme and unaccounted power to both NCTC and IB which is unprecedented in the history of formation of security state in South Asia. Anyway the state governments enjoy extremely limited power in India, nothing more than glorified municipalities, since administrative and financial controls were always vested in the hands of the highly centralized Union Government. Now with introduction of NCTC such limited powers will be further eroded and the limited powers of state government will be even more curbed.

We have repeatedly seen the persecution and criminalization of dissenting voices and oppressed masses by the state. Under the already existing draconian laws like UAPA, MCoCA, GujCoCA, PSA etc the Indian state has unleashed fascist repression over the people who are fighting for their basic rights, land, livelihood, dignity or nationhood. Along with that the oppressed masses be it the dalits, adivasis or Muslims and other religious minorities are summarily persecuted by using these draconian laws.

Many political organizations, cultural groups and mass organizations have already been banned by this fascist state and their activists are regularly arrested, tortured, implicated with false cases or even killed in fake encounter. The state has also propped up bogus organizations like Indian Mujahideen in order to persecute Muslims and arrest thousands of them under false cases branding them as ‘terrorists’. In Central and eastern India, the state has declared the bloodiest war on the people in the name of ‘Operation Green Hunt’. Thousands of paramilitary, elite forces, vigilante gangs and currently the army and the air force are being deployed to fight the resilient adivasis to evict them from their land and forests, so that the mineral rich region can be pawned to the MNCs. In Kashmir and North Eastern regions the Indian state has also unleashed fascist war on the people fighting for their nationhood and right to self determination. Recently, the Jharkhand CRPF has also demanded that they be given the ‘cover’ of AFSPA and thereby the free license to kill, torture, rape, murder and plunder civilians with full impunity. The NCTC is going to be another potent weapon of repression in the hands of the state to repress people by branding them ‘terrorist’, ‘extremist’ etc.

Several non-Congress Chief Ministers, led by Mamata Banerjee of West Bengal and Naveen Patnaik of Odisha are doing shadow boxing with the Union on NCTC, on the grounds that it is against the federal structure of the state. That indeed is a cruel joke since all these chief ministers, particularly these two have remained loyally hands-in-gloves with the Central Home Ministry in unleashing fascist state repression. Mamata Banerjee has been openly eulogized by Chidambaram for “effectively tackling the Naxals”. She has laid a foundation to a National Security Guards (NSG) hub near Kolkata, and contrary to all her pre-electoral gimmicks, she has neither withdrawn paramilitary forces from Jungal Mahal, nor revoked or withheld the draconian UAPA. After coming to power instead of keeping her pre-electoral promise to release political prisoners she has rather imprisoned hundreds of villagers from jungal mahal and has taken initiative to start a Salwa Judum styled state-backed vigilante gang. Unofficially, her party goons are already running such a formation called ‘Bhairab Vahini’ which is ruthlessly attacking people in jungal mahal. The cold blooded fake encounter killing of CPI (Maoist) leader and politburo member Kishenji is another ruthless instance of her fascist regime.

Similarly, Naveen Patnaik is responsible for unleashing ruthless repression on the people fighting against POSCO, VEDANTA and other corporate giants in Odisha. He has the records of killing protesting adivasis in Kalinga Nagar and brutally attacking the fighting masses of Narayanpatna and killing the of Chasi Muliya Adivai Sangha (CMAS), Wadeka Singhana. Many other CMAS activists have been booked under UAPA. Similarly other BJP and non-Congress CMs like Narendra Modi, Jayalalitha, Prakash Singh Badal are also doing shadow boxing with the Center over the NCTC curbing power of the state governments. Raman Singh the fascist BJP CM of Chhattisgarh has however accepted the NCTC albeit certain amendments. The other BJP CMs are all known for their fascist rule, the repression they have unleashed over people, the pogroms they have executed, the firing on protesting masses they have ordered. These various agents of the ruling class are only croaking against NCTC not because they are anyway concerned about the welfare of the people nor for the sake of ‘saving federalism. They only want a bigger share in the authority to repress dissenting voices and a share of the huge money that flows around in the name of ‘internal security’.

None of the MPs in parliament including the ones belonging to the pseudo-Left, had raised any objection when UAPA was dangerously amended in 2008. All the parliamentary parties in India have their shares in the ongoing corporate loot and therefore they are ultimately going to serve and support the central government in all its endeavours to intensify the war on people and proscribing and criminalizing all sorts of dissent. The progressive and democratic forces of the country must unite to resist the attempts of the state to wage the brutal and bloody war on the people in order to facilitate corporate loot of the resources and the repression of all voices of dissent.

  • Withdraw NCTC and repeal draconian UAPA
  • Stop Operation Green Hunt
    • Stop arresting people under bogus charges

 

President

Varavara Rao

09676541715

 

General Secretary

Rajkishore

09717583539

 

Statement protesting the banning of visits by the Swedish scholar Jan Myrdal to India

Rise! Resist Liberate!

REVOLUTIONARY DEMOCRATIC FRONT (RDF)

Contact: revolutionarydemocracy@gmail.com

24 May 2012

 

 

In the latest of its fascist move to strangle all voices of dissent and criticism, the Indian state has decided to ban any future visits of reputed Swedish scholar Jan Myrdal to India, for his support for the people’s movements in India. Recently the Ministry of State for Home Affairs, Jitender Singh made the statement in parliament that any future visit of Jan will be completely banned as he has been found guilty of ‘advising’ the CPI (Maoist) and doing propaganda on their behalf.

Historically, world over, pro-people intellectuals and scholars have always stood by people’s movements for their basic rights. Jan Myrdal too throughout his life has stood steadfast beside anti-imperialist movements and struggles. He led the movement against US war on Vietnam, in Europe and Sweden and has also written prolifically to support people’s movements in Palestine, Afghanistan, China and other places in the world. In India too he has made several visits in the past and has interacted and written about the Indian situation and people’s resistance. In 2010, at the age of 83, he travelled extensively in Dandakaranya, to have a firsthand experience of people’s resistance against the state backed war on people in the name of Operation Green Hunt and also of the larger struggle of adivasis for their land, lives and livelihood. There he also met the top leadership of CPI (Maoist) and interviewed the general secretary of the party. Based on his experiences he wrote a book “Red Star Over India. Impressions, Reflections and Discussions when the Wretched of the Earth are Rising.” The book has already been widely sold and reached its second edition in India and is being translated in various other regional languages like Bengali, Tamil, Telugu, Punjabi while more contracts are being discussed. The book is an extremely analytical and outstanding critique of Indian state’s undemocratic and anti-people policies and people’s mounting resistance against that. This year he was invited by the Kolkata book Fair to launch the book in India, which was followed by a series of lectures in Kolkata, Hyderabad, Ludhiana and Delhi. In Delhi, the Forum against War on People invited him to speak on state repression. The students of Jawaharlal Nehru University also invited him to deliver the First Naveen Babu Memorial Lecture organized to commemorate the martyrdom of Naveen Babu, an ex-student of JNU who was killed by the state forces in AP on February 10, 2010.

Jan’s entire itinerary was known to the home Ministry and all his lectures and writings were published and made public. The only reason the Home Ministry is raising such an unfounded hue and cry is because they are not being able to face the issues, concerns and sharp criticism that Jan has raised and the fact that he being a scholar of such repute his criticism will be well received and taken seriously by the world. He out rightly said in one of his lectures in Delhi that it was a war against the people for simple economic reasons. Greed and profit.  That is a truth even officially documented by the Government of India.” It is the reiteration of this simple truth coming from someone as reputed and well accepted as Jan, that the Indian government cannot accept and hence has become alarmed. Jan himself has come forward and justified his visits to India and clarified his purpose rebutting the propaganda of the Indian state. He has clearly said in a letter to Swedish foreign minister he has written “The intense discussion and debate in India is not reflected in our media in the Western countries. That is not due to any official Indian censorship (as the British one in India during WW2). It is due to the censorship of the editorial “gate keepers” in our media (and the self censorship of our correspondents in India)”. And he rightly believes more interaction and exchanges from activists across the world is a basic necessity of the current times to forge a broad based anti-imperialist solidarity.

The proposed ban on Myrdal therefore is nothing but one more fascist stranglehold over voices of dissent and protests. The Indian state is implementing a series of repressive measures to criminalise protest and to suppress voices and forces of dissent and resistance. On one hand it is waging the most bloody war on people with the use of paramilitary, army, police force, air force and vigilante gangs; on the other hand it is banning and proscribing political parties, mass organizations, cultural fronts and arresting people under false charges. It is using the corporate media to run a psychological warfare by maligning people’s movements with vicious campaigns. Off late the Indian IB is also harassing woman activists by sending fake audio and videos and mails with slanderous contents. The proposed ban on Jan is just another of the effort by the Indian state to muffle strong voices of critiques.

The progressive and democratic forces in India and the rest of the world must raise their voices to oppose such a fascist tactic by the Indian state. The proposed ban on Jan Myrdal must be withdrawn with immediate effect.

 

President

Varavara Rao

09676541715

 

General Secretary

Rajkishore

09717583539

 

Release Uttpal Unconditionally and Immediately

Rise! Resist! Liberate!

REVOLUTIONARY DEMOCRATIC FRONT (RDF)

Contact: revolutionarydemocracy@gmail.com

12 May 2012

Press Release

Release Uttpal Unconditionally and Immediately

We demand punishment for the guilty police personnel who illegally Detained Uttpal

Uttpal (23), an adivasi revolutionary cultural activist who was elected to the All India Executive Committee in the First Conference of Revolutionary Democratic Front (RDF) held on 22-23 April 2012 in Hyderabad, has been illegally detained by Jharkhand Police. He was detained in Dumuri Police station area of Giridih District on 7th May 2012 while he was travelling in a road transport bus. Till date, the Jharkhand police has not released him nor produced him in any court of law.

 

Uttpal has been working for Jharkhand Aben, a well-known and popular revolutionary cultural oragnisation of Jharkhandis in the state. Ever since the arrest of cultural activist Jiten Marandi, Uttpal has been actively conducting the organisation. He is a singer and a composer. He was travelling from Ranchi to a village in Dumuri to meet Aben’s local team. Before he reached the village, where other cultural activists were waiting for him, he was taken away by the police from the bus around 3pm on 7th May.

 

This is not for the first time the police illegally detained Uttpal. A few months after Jiten Marandi’s arrest, Uttapal was abducted by goons employed by the police and was made to ‘disappear’ for many days. Later he was implicated in a false case and produced in a court of law from where he procured bail. But before his release he was slapped with fabricated charges under the draconian Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA). After suffering cruel and unjust incarceration for more than a year under provisions of the stringent law, Uttpal recently came out of prison on bail and actively and successfully led the campaign against the death penalty of Jiten Marandi.

 

RDF strongly condemns the illegal detention of Uttpal, our Executive Member, by the Jharkhand police and demands his unconditional release immediately.  We appeal to all democratic organisations and individuals to raise their voice against this illegal act by the Jharkhand Police, and demand the punishment for the guilty police personnel.

 

President

Varavara Rao

09676541715

 

General Secretary

Rajkishore

09717583539

Condemn the fake encounter of four alleged Maoist cadres in Assam

Rise! Resist! Liberate!

 

REVOLUTIONARY DEMOCRATIC FRONT (RDF)

Contact: revolutionarydemocracy@gmail.com

phone: 0091-9910455993

 

11 May 2012

 

Press Statement

Condemn the fake encounter of four alleged Maoist cadres

in Assam by the Indian Army, CRPF and the Police!

 

Demand an impartial enquiry into the incident and punishment for

the personnel guilty of perpetrating this cold-blooded murder!

 

 

RDF strongly condemns the cold-blooded murder of four alleged Maoist activists in Sadiya of Tinsukia district, Assam. The Assam government has claimed that a joint team of Assam Police, CRPF and Indian Army has killed four armed cadres of the Upper Assam Leading Committee of CPI (Maoist) in a ‘fierce gun-battle’ at around 10.30 a.m. on 9 May at Borgora-Deopani Nepali Gaon under the Saidya police station.

 

The family members of the deceased and the residents of the area have rubbished this claim by the government and the circumstances in which the four youths – Siddhartha Buragohain (Telikola village, Sadiya), Medang Gogoi alias Rajib Gogoi (Topsinga village), Hiren Chetia alias Rajat (Tokajan village) and Kamala Buragohain (No.2 Tokajan village) – all between 25 to 30 years, were killed. As per the news reports in the local media which referred to the testimonies of the villagers, this was nothing but a cold-blooded murder which was later staged as an ‘encounter’. According to the residents of the village published by the media, a commando unit of Sadiya Police arrived early in the morning and forced the villagers to move away from the house of one Bal Bahadur Limbu where they suspected that Maoist cadres were taking shelter. Thereafter the house was encircled from all directions. Two of the cadres who were on sentry duty outside the house ran to safety by firing at one of the police teams, while another police team entered the house from the rear. The police found the four youth taking food and asked them to raise their hands. There was no resistance from the unarmed youth. Subsequently all four were shot by the police from point-blank range and killed in cold blood. Later the police resorted to heavy firing on the house to manufacture evidence of a ‘heavy gun fight’ as a result of which the house was severely damaged.

 

The Assamese newspaper Asomiya Pratidin reports that this fake encounter has generated discontent among the people of Saidya region. They have criticised the role of the armed forces by saying that they could have arrested the four youth as per the law of the land instead of murdering them in a staged extra-judicial killing. The fake ‘encounter’ of the four alleged Maoists is the latest in the series of thousands of such extra-judicial killings by the Indian Army, CRPF and the Assam Police in the name of ‘counter-insurgency’ operations against United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) and other proscribed organisations in the last two decades of Indian Army deployment in Assam. Only four months back on 26 December 2011, three youths – Siva Moran, Dhiraj Duara and Janak Moran of Makum, Tinsukia district – were picked up and killed in a fake encounter in the Assam-Arunachal Pradesh border by the Army and the police, and were termed as ‘hardcore ULFA’ cadres who were killed in ‘retaliatory fire’! Even though the family members of the deceased have filed FIRs against the Indian Army and large demonstrations have taken place, no enquiry has been ordered into the incident by the state government, which is desperate to shielding the culprits rather than bringing the truth to the open.

 

The horrors of state repression during Operation Bajrang and Operation Rhino conducted by the Indian Army in the 1990s against ULFA are still fresh in the memory of the people of Assam, and so are the hundreds of so-called ‘secret killings’ orchestrated by LK Advani, Prafulla Kumar Mahanta and co. during the AGP government in the same decade. The latest fake encounter in Saidya once again displays the reality of Indian occupation of Assam, its colonial militaristic approach towards the people of Assam and crushing of their genuine struggles including the struggle for national liberation. Here any political dissent and peoples’ rebellion is dealt with the coercive might of the Indian state, and in doing so the latest method adopted by the state’s armed forces to brand activists and peoples’ movements as having affiliation or links with the Maoist movement.

 

The state has already branded peoples’ organisations like – Assam Students’ and Youth Organisation (ASYO), Asom Chah Jonogosthi Surakhya Samiti (Assam Tea Community Protection Committee), Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS) etc. as Maoist fronts, and are persecuting them. More than 60 activists and individuals have been arrested in Assam over the last one year from its different parts by falsely implicating them for being Maoists. Thus, in this way, the ‘hallowed’ promises of the Indian constitution – be it the right to life, liberty or justice – are conveniently trampled under the jackboots of the army in the name of protecting ‘national security’ and ‘integrity’. The expansion of the Maoist movement into Assam is a response to the continued exploitation and oppression of the people by the Indian ruling classes in collusion with the regional ruling elite of Assam, whether they belong to the Congress, BJP or AGP.

 

Only a strong mobilisation of public opinion and peoples’ protest in Assam and outside can prevent these cold-blooded murders from recurring. Given the highly suspicious circumstances of the Sadiya ‘encounter’ and the testimonies of the local residents challenging the police version, RDF demands that the Assam government institute an immediate independent enquiry and file FIRs against the concerned army/police personnel involved in the killings. RDF also calls upon all the progressive and democratic organisations and individuals to protest against this fake encounter, and strengthen the fight for bringing the culprits to justice.

 

President

Varavara Rao

09676541715

 

General Secretary

Rajkishore

09717583539