Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Violence in Lalgarh: The Truth Behind

THERE is now enough ground to conclude that the January 7 incident in Netai village in Lalgarh was pre-planned. For the last two years, many families in Netai were forced to leave the village. It was a kind of a den of the Maoists and the so-called People’s Committee. The villagers were tortured in many ways and a number of CPI(M) cadre were killed. In Lalgarh block alone, 72 CPI(M) activists were killed in the last two tears.

On December 31, 2010, a mammoth meeting of the CPI(M) was held in Lalgarh after nearly two years. Nearly a lakh people participated. It was the height of people’s desperate resistance to the Maoists. Many villagers from Netai participated in the meeting though the village itself is still dominated by the TMC-and the People’s Committee. After the meeting, the homeless people started to come back.

It is now reported that on January 6 night, a group of Maoists and trained cadre of the People’s Committee entered the village. They were led by one Tanmoy Roy, a TMC activist. He was the bike driver of Chhatradhar Mahato, the leader of People’s Committee, now in jail. On January 7 morning, a team of Maoists along with TMC cadre attacked the houses of those who had returned. It was naturally resisted, resulting in clashes. According to the DIG (Western Range), Anil Kumar, there was “exchange of fire.” According to eye witnesses, the armed group that started the attack began to fire indiscriminately, killing and injuring many villagers. It is evident that they were instructed to fire randomly. What they wanted was dead bodies, not necessarily of whom. The post mortem report of at least three persons suggested that they were fired from the back side. Seven people were killed and 18 injured.

As a part of the anti-CPI(M) maligning campaign, they are now seeking to present the incident in a different way --- as if the villagers had encircled a house where ‘armed’ CPI(M) cadre had gathered and then the latter fired upon the unarmed villagers from inside the house or from the rooftop. It is a travesty of truth. If it had been so, many villagers won’t have died after receiving bullets from the backside. After the incident, moreover, the mediapersons who visited the village noted a large number of bullet marks on the walls of the house where the CPI(M) cadre had allegedly collected and also on the walls of the neighbouring houses. This indicates that in fact it is the CPI(M) cadre who were fired upon; it was not the other way round.

On the very next day of the Netai incident, PCPA spokesman Dileep Hansda gave an interview to a private TV channel, in which he confirmed that the incident was a result of the attack launched by his organisation and by the Maoists on its back. According to Hindi daily Jansatta, January 9, Hansda presented the incident as a big deed of his organisation, declaring that “the camps of the CPI(M)’s harmad vahini in West Medinipur, Purulia and Bankura will be razed to the ground. Hansda also announced that attacks on the CPI(M) camps would continue in future as well, adding that the police and administration would be responsible if anything untoward happens. Hansda labelled the accusation that the CPM has become active in Jangal Mahal because of its politics of vote.” However, as it happened in the Gyaneshwari case, Maoists later made Hansda keep silent.

Be that as it may, by the time the PCPA spokesman accepted the responsibility for this incident, the TMC, Congress and the media supporting them had got enough time to present the Left cadre as the oppressors while in reality they are facing the brunt of the TMC-Maoist attacks in Jangal Mahal area. On her part, TMC supremo Ms Mamata Banerjee was hell bent upon proving that there were “armed camps” of the CPI(M) in Jangal Mahal. On her behalf, parroting her accusation, the union home minister too has so far written three letters to the state chief minister. The incident in Netai was pre-planned to ‘prove’ that such camps are indeed there.

It is another thing that despite the iota of success that they have received, the TMC-Maoist grouping has not been able to mislead the people of Jangal Mahal area. On Saturday, January 8, TMC leaders were in fact chased away from Netai when they reached to oversee Ms Mamata Banerjee’s programme there. The railway minister, however, went there without much of a noise. She was scheduled to address a public meeting in Lalgarh. All preparations were made, including the erection of a big stage and security barricades. But the people’s response was so low that Ms Mamata Banerjee cancelled the meeting.
January 16, 2011

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Trinamul Congress-Maoist Links

New Delhi, January 8: The Polit Bureau of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) has issued the following statement:
The tragic loss of lives and injuries to several in the Netai village under Binpur block, West Midnapur district of West Bengal on January 7 is a result of the violent politics indulged in by the Maoist-Trinamul combine. It should be recalled that earlier on December 16, 2010 when seven workers including a woman gram pradhan of Forward Bloc were brutally murdered in Jhalda in the Purulia district by Maoists, the TMC did not even issue a statement to condemn the killings, showing their complicity in the crime. This combine has sought to drive out Left cadre from the Jangal Mahal area using brutal methods in which over 122 tribal activists of the CPI(M) have been killed, hundreds of homes burnt and thousands driven out of the area.
Peoples’ resistance in many areas has led to an improvement in the situation which is not to the liking of this combine. It is reported that on January 7, in a pre-planned move, efforts were made to violently attack those families of the CPI(M) who had returned to the village and those waiting in the displaced peoples camp to return, resulting in the violence in which precious lives were lost.

It is essential for the Home Minister Shri Chidambaram, instead of issuing partisan statements, to ensure that his Cabinet colleague Railway Minister Mamta Bannerjee break her party’s links with the Maoists which is the single biggest factor responsible for the present situation.

Brutal Killing by Maoist-Trinamool combine at Lalgarh

January 07,2011
KOLKATA: In yet another brutal attack six people were killed and 15 others seriously injured when Maoists and Trinamool Congress activists jointly opened fire on a group of villagers at Netai at Lalgarh under Binpur block in West Midnapore district of West Bengal January 7 morning. Scared by the growing people’s resistance against Maoist-Trinamool terrorism and violence the Maoists have resorted to a reign of terror with the help of Trinamool activists.
It was on December 31 a massive rally was held at Lalgarh in which participation of local villagers was spontaneous to voice against Maoist-Trinamool violence and for restoration of peace in Jangalmahal. It created wrath among the Maoists who in retaliatory measures have started terrorizing the innocent village people.With this in mind a group of armed Maoist cadres under the leadership of Tanmoy Roy, who was once a secretary of the pro-Maoist Janaganer Committee (PCPA) but now a Trinamool leader, swung into armed action in the morning of January 7 and started indiscriminate firing on villagers protesting against the Maoist menaces. As a result 6 villagers were killed and 15 others seriously injured.
Deepak Sarkar, secretary of West Midnapore district CPI(M), in a statement, demanded immediate arrest of those who were responsible for the murder. The CPIM) brought out processions in Lalgarah on January 8 to condemn the incident.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Maoist-Trinamul Nexus: Memorandum to Home Minister

New Delhi, January 6: A delegation comprising CPI(M), CPI, RSP, AIFB, TDP and JD(S) met Shri. Chidambaram, Minister for Home Affairs today.

The text of the memorandum given below:
January 6, 2011
Shri. Chidambaram
Minister for Home Affairs
Government of India
New Delhi

Dear Shri Chidambaram,

In the light of your recent communication with the Chief Minister of West Bengal, on behalf of the CPI(M), CPI, RSP, AIFB, TDP and JD(S), we, the undersigned, are constrained to draw your attention to certain facts pertaining to the nexus between the Maoists and a major component of the UPA coalition – the Trinamul Congress party.

It is our contention that certain facts have come to light of late which further vindicate the reality of the nexus between the Maoists and Trinamul Congress are in addition to the detailed references appearing in the media during the last three years revealing the nature of the nexus. A synopsis of these reports are appended herewith as Annexure 1.

Additionally, we are also attaching some specific facts about the Maoist-TMC links in Annexure – 2.

Recently, the Trinamul Congress MP from Jadavpur Lok Sabha constituency, Shri Kabir Suman, has written a book - an autobiographical narrative named `Nishner nam Taposhi Malik’ (the name of the flag is Taposhi Malik). The book, significantly, has been dedicated to Kishanji – reportedly the Polit Bureau member of CPI(Maoist) operating in West Bengal. In the book, he has given an eye witness account of a meeting held in Trinamul Congress headquarters in Kolkata attended by two individuals – Raja Sarkhel and Prasun Chattopadhyaya – who are at present in judicial custody booked under certain provisions of the UAPA for their links with the Maoists. The concerned meeting, Shri Suman informs, was also attended by Ms. Mamata Banerjee and Shri Sougata Roy who are currently ministers of your government. The meeting discussed of possible intervention in Nandigram in which implicitly the Maoists would also be involved. The Maoists have earlier given detailed accounts of their involvement in Nandigram with the Trinamul Congress through public statements which had never been contradicted.

The media has also widely reported the confession of Madhusudan Mondal, since arrested, and who happened to be the Nandigram Zonal Committee secretary of the CPI(Maoist) confirming this association.

The TMC is, however, now denying any links with Shri Kabir Suman, MP. We are hereby attaching relevant portions of his book with its English translation as Annexure – 3, along with a media report.

We would also like to attach herewith a copy of the statement of one Vikram – a state committee member of CPI(Maoist) – released to the media on 4.1.2011 claiming links with TMC and the functional unity between the Maoists and TMC in joint agitational activities. He has claimed that in the past, the Maoists were not in a position to openly come out with assertions about these links but now the situation has changed. He has further claimed that though he has some criticisms about TMC, he would like the Maoist-TMC association to continue to ensure the defeat of the Left Front in the coming Assembly elections. In spite of some misgivings about the TMC, the continuation of the relationship is important – has been his assertion. He has also demanded that the Railway Minister must resign from the Cabinet protesting corruptions on the Union Government. We are attaching media reports on Vikram’s statement as Annexure – 4.

We would also like to remind you on this occasion that you had in the past confirmed on the Floor of Rajya Sabha that the PCPA is a frontal organisation of the Maoists. Now that the CBI chargesheet on the Gyaneswari Express tragedy has been filed which squarely charges the PCPA for having hatched the conspiracy which led to the tragedy. This totally refutes the insinuations by TMC leadership and intellectuals close to that party. The insinuation itself was a vile attempt to deflect responsibility of the Gyanaswari disaster further reinforces the nexus between the TMC and the Maoists in West Bengal.

On the question of your description of CPI(M) activists as `harmads’ and your further justification with reference to the term being used by other political parties and sections of the media is not in keeping with the majesty of your office. We would like to specifically inform you that it is the same Maoist leadership who use this word in their interactions with the media and which is caught on camera with covered faces. Video recording of such interviews must be available with the intelligence establishment. To further inform you on the subject, we can add that this term is derogatorily used to describe hapless victims belonging to the CPI(M) activists who are eliminated through cowardly individual assassinations and through their self appointed kangaroo courts as declared in the posters left behind with the dead bodies.

What is happening today in Jangal Mahal – the forest range areas of Bankura, Purulia and West Midnapur of West Bengal – is an awakening, a popular mobilization and mass resistance of the people against the murders, extortions, rapes, tortures and all such depredations of the Maoists. Not only the CPI(M) but all those who cherish democracy and rule of law must associate with such a fight back by the common people.

We must also inform you that the day you were reiterating your justification for the use of the term `harmad’ more than one and half lakh local people converged in Lalgarh on the 31st of December, 2010 to express their resolve to fight for peace, democracy and development in a rally organized by the Left Front.

In spite of the Prime Minister’s assertion that `Maoists are the single biggest threat to internal security’, why do you use the very same term that Maoists use to describe those very people who are part of a popular mobilization and resistance to Maoist depredations? We are sure that the government’s intelligence apparatus must have kept you informed about the success of the joint operations because of the isolation of the Maoists from the people and the role of the villagers in apprehending and informing the security forces about the whereabouts and activities of the Maoists.

In the light of all these reports, we would urge you to spell out what do you propose in dealing with the TMC-Maoist nexus. The responsibility of overcoming the impact of the Maoist violence is not the responsibility of the state governments alone, it is a phenomenon which spans across several states. Therefore, the Union Government also has a responsibility, which you have not only acknowledged but acted upon by taking some initiatives. And, may we add that it is necessary to desist from taking positions which undermine the spirit of resistance that seeks to bring an end to Maoist violence and depredations.

With warm regards,

Yours sincerely

(Sitaram Yechury)
MP (Rajya Sabha)
Leader, CPI(M)
(Basudeb Acharia)
MP (Lok Sabha)
Leader, CPI(M)

(Shyamal Chakraborty)
MP (Rajya Sabha), CPI(M)
(Prabodh Panda)
MP (Lok Sabha), CPI

(Manohar Tirkey)
MP (Lok Sabha)
Leader, RSP
(Narahari Mahato)
MP (Lok Sabha)
Leader, AIFB

(Danish Ali)
General Secretary, JD(S)
(Nama Nageswara Rao)
MP (Lok Sabha)
Leader, TDP

Trinamul-Maoist Nexus Endangers National Security

Mamata Banerjee and Chatradhar Mahato in a meeting in Lalgarh on 4th Feb., 2009

THROUGH these columns, we had been repeatedly exposing the diabolic nexus between the Trinamul Congress and the Maoists in West Bengal. If any reconfirmation was ever necessary, it has now come in a resounding manner through voluntary declarations by leaders of both the Trinamul and the Maoists that have appeared in the media.

Trinamul Congress MP from the Jadavpur Lok Sabha constituency, Shri Kabir Suman, has recently launched his autobiographical narrative named `Nishner nam Taposhi Malik’ (the name of the flag is Taposhi Malik). The book, significantly, has been dedicated to Kishenji, the Polit Bureau member of CPI(Maoist) operating in West Bengal. In the book, Mr Suman has given an eye witness account of a meeting held in Trinamul Congress headquarters in Kolkata attended by two individuals – Raja Sarkhel and Prasun Chattopadhyaya – who are at present in judicial custody booked under certain provisions of the UAPA for their links with the Maoists. The concerned meeting, Shri Suman informs, was also attended by Ms Mamata Banerjee and Shri Sougata Roy who are currently ministers of the UPA government. The meeting discussed the possibilities of intervention in Nandigram in which implicitly the Maoists would also be involved.

The Maoists have earlier given detailed accounts of their involvement in Nandigram with the Trinamul Congress through public statements which have never been contradicted. The media reported on January 8, 2009 the following: “To wipe out CPI(M) from West Bengal, we must work together with all parties of the ruling class like, Trinamool Congress, Congress, BJP etc. The CPI(Maoist) document, titled `Some important problems and its solutions’ was circulated to the members after the incidents of Shalboni and Lalgarh. We must get all ruling parties associated as long they desire to be. We call CPI(M) as a Social Fascist organisation. Relations with Trinamool Congress and railway minister Mamata Banerjee must be strengthened.”

Such reports appeared periodically in various sections of the media all through the year. More exposures came in 2010. The Bengali daily, Aaj Kal, reported under the heading “Maoist leader detained from TMC leaders car” on November 10, 2010, the following: “Maoist leader Kanchan Deb Singh was arrested from Trinamool block president Nepal Singh’s car in Shalbani. Police stopped the car for checking and recognised Kanchan inside the car. Nepal Singh as well as Kanchan was taken to the police station though the block president was released within no time. Kanchan was associated with the PSBJC arms training in 2008. He was charged with various landmine blasts, looting of police van etc.”

The Delhi edition of The Hindustan Times has reported on January 5, 2011 a media statement : “purportedly signed by CPI(Maoist) West Bengal state committee member Vikram said: `We want our movement-oriented alliance with Mamata Banerjee to flourish…”. Further: “The declaration said both Maoists and TMC were silent on their alliance because of political compulsions, but they are coming out in the open as there is nothing more to hide. `We fought together during the struggles in Singur, Nandigram….”

It is now, clearly, beyond doubt that the Trinamul Congress had provided and continues to provide both the political cover and all assistance for the Maoists to penetrate into West Bengal in order to be used to mount terror attacks against the CPI(M) cadre and the common people aiming at extracting electoral benefit in the forthcoming elections.

We had drawn attention earlier to an irreconcilable contradiction within the UPA. On the one hand, the prime minister describes the Maoists as “posing the single gravest threat to India’s internal security”. On the other, in the union cabinet led by this very prime minister, there are members of the Trinamul Congress who are collaborating with the Maoists in order to achieve electoral gains at the expense of jeopardising India’s internal security.

Can this be allowed? Can such crass political opportunism (to retain a majority for the government) that endangers our country’s unity and integrity be permissible? Further, can such diabolic and cynical politics, for the sake of electoral gains that destroys democracy, peace and development so crucially required for creating better livelihood conditions for our people be tolerated?

Such politics, for the sake of not only Bengal and its people but for the sake of India and its people, needs to be defeated if the struggle for building a better India has to be carried forward.

January 5, 2011

Tuesday, January 4, 2011


Suhrid Sankar Chattopadhyay in Kolkata

FRONTLINE, Volume 28 - Issue 01 :: Jan. 01-14, 2011
THE Congress is on the horns of a dilemma vis-a-vis its relationship with the Trinamool Congress as West Bengal readies for the Assembly elections, which are to be held in six months. The Pradesh Congress is torn between conflicting views of two influential sections of its leadership. While one believes it is vital to maintain the electoral alliance with Union Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee's Trinamool Congress, which is the main opposition to the Communist Party of India (Marxist)-led Left Front government, the other group feels the alliance should not be at the expense of the “dignity” of the party, as remarked by general secretary Rahul Gandhi.

There is no denying the fact that the party's position in the State is weak. It has 19 seats in the 294-member Assembly and six out of 42 Lok Sabha seats. Its presence is noticeable in only three districts – Malda, Murshidabad and Uttar Dinajpur. It has scattered strongholds such as Rampurhat in Birbhum district, Asansol and Katwa in Bardhaman district, Kharagpur in Pashchim Medinipur district, Basirhat in North 24 Paraganas district and Khidirpur in Kolkata. However, according to Congress sources, even in these regions the party has been witnessing a steady erosion of its support base with the resurgence of the Trinamool Congress.

“Our main problem began when we had a tie-up with the Left parties at the Centre. We needed Left support at that time. The people in the State felt our opposition to the CPI(M) was not genuine,” senior Congress leader and former Pradesh Congress working president Pradip Bhattacharya told Frontline. It was also in 2006 and 2007, when the Congress was in power at the Centre with support from the Left, that the Trinamool emerged out of political wilderness with its agitation programmes against land acquisition for industries. It became a strong challenge to the Left Front. “Even though we were there in this movement right from the start, our association with the Left prevented us from gaining any real political advantage from it,” a Congress source said.

Although the Congress-Trinamool alliance can be euphemistically termed an uncomfortable one, a section of the Congress feels that the party's showing in the coming elections will be miserable if the alliance falls through. Since the party has been consistently losing members and leaders to the Trinamool, it is feared that there will be more defections if the alliance breaks. “Moreover, if we go it alone and our results are unsatisfactory, it will do enormous damage to the morale of our workers. But if we go ahead with the alliance, then we will survive and still have some seats for ourselves, and we can flourish again later,” Bhattacharya said.

This attitude, however, does not find favour with another section of the Congress, which feels it is tantamount to a “complete surrender” to the Trinamool. “The alliance is a must, but the benefits [seats] must be proportionately distributed. In the parliamentary election of 2009, we accepted their terms and took 14 seats – six that belonged to us, and eight difficult seats, which we lost. But we took it for the sake of the alliance. We have declared Mamata Banerjee as the alliance leader, now the Trinamool should also reciprocate. In the Assembly elections, will it be unfair to seek one-third of the 294 seats?” Pradesh Congress working president Manas Bhuniya asked.

Mamata's constant jibes at the Congress, referring to the latter as the “B Team” of the CPI(M), accusing the State leadership of being agents of the ruling party, and her unbending, autocratic attitude towards her “junior” partner, has been a constant source of irritation to the local Congress leadership. After the huge success in the Lok Sabha election, relations between the two parties soured so much that in the 2010 municipal elections, they decided to contest separately. The Trinamool recorded a thumping victory, and the Congress' tally was reduced by half. It won 10 wards in the Kolkata Municipal Corporation as against 20 in 2005.

Senior Trinamool leader and Union Minister of State for Urban Development Saugata Roy stated categorically that the party wished to remain in the Congress-led UPA at the Centre and also have an electoral alliance with the State Congress. “But if they want to have an alliance, they too must make some concessions to us, particularly in places where they are strong,” he told Frontline. Roy is confident that even if there is no electoral alliance, the Trinamool will win a majority in the Assembly elections. “We want the alliance in the interest of defeating the CPI(M) roundly. But fences have not been mended since the civic elections, and the relations continue to be strained, Roy admits. The two partners “continue to talk to each other through statements made to the media”.

According to veteran Congress leader Subrata Mukherjee, who recently joined the Trinamool, the Congress stands to lose heavily if there is no alliance, as the dedicated anti-Left votes would then be diverted to the Trinamool. “The Congress at present is going through a leadership crisis. Most of its top leaders like Somen [Mitra], Saugata [Roy], myself have left it. The only one left is Priya [Priyaranjan Dasmunshi], who is non-functional because of ill-health. The majority of its dedicated workers have joined the Trinamool, and more will join if there is no alliance,” he told Frontline.

Senior CPI(M) leader Mohammad Salim, though in agreement with Mukherjee's views on the Congress' leadership crisis, feels that the party will be better off without an alliance with the Trinamool. “Essentially, Trinamool's gain is from the Congress, not from the Left. The more the Congress goes along with the Trinamool, the more it stands to lose. The Trinamool's strength lies in the disintegration of the Congress,” he said. However, there are those in the Left who feel that a Congress-Trinamool alliance will give the Left Front a tough fight.

The views about the shifting of votes from the Congress to the Trinamool is to be viewed in the light of an electoral assessment made by some senior Congress men, who told Frontline that in the absence of an alliance, the Congress may stand to lose at least 5-10 per cent of the anti-Left votes. How this percentage will be translated into the number of seats lost by the anti-Left forces taken together, especially in marginal constituencies, is anybody's guess.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Your observation not acceptable: Chief Minister writes to Chidambaram

procession in Jhilimili, Bankura

KOLKATA, 31st December: Immediately after receiving Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram’s second letter to him West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattcharjee, sent his reply on December 31 saying, “I am unable to accept with your attitude towards Left Front workers in our State and also your observation regarding failure of law and order in certain areas.”

The Chief Minister who did not want to disclose the content of his letter to the media but was compelled to do this as all correspondences “between us” were released to the media by the Union Home Minister prior to his meeting with the Union Home Minister in Delhi. The Chief Minister has been invited by Chidambaram to Delhi to “have a frank discussion” on the law and order situation in West Bengal.

Referring to Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee taking serious exception to the use of the word “Harmad” to mean CPI(M) cadres in his first letter Chidambaram in his latest letter wanted to know a synonymous word of “Harmad” from the Chief Minister. The Chief Minister, however, said in reply, “I am unable to replace it with any better word that I may suggest.” He said he could not offer him any such word since he was unable to accept with Union Home Minister’s attitude toward Left Front workers.

Chief Minister Bhattacharjee has drawn Chidambaram’s attention to Trinamool Congress’s nexus with Maoist.” You are aware there is clinching evidence of the encouragement and support that the Maoists are getting from the Trinamool Congress. “Unfortunately, you have chosen not to mention this problem in your letter,” the Chief Minister said in his reply to the two letters sent by Chidambaram.


D.O. No. 121-CM

Decemebr 31, 2010

Chief Minister’s letter to Union Home Minister

Dear Shri Chidambaram,

I wanted not to open all our correspondences before media but to discuss with you the problems when I meet you in Delhi. Bust as you have already released the correspondence between us to media. I feel compelled to write further on the issues raised by you.

I have noted the reasons behind late arrival of your letter in my office but I cannot accept the deliberate leakage of letters to the Press. I objected to the use of the ward “harmad” for obvious reasons. Unfortunately, you have proposed to replace it with any better word that I may suggest. I am sorry I cannot offer you any such word since I am unable to accept with your attitude towards Left Front workers in our State and also your observation regarding failure of law and order in certain areas.While I share your anxiety on the found situation in Maoist affected areas, I again assure you that our policy is to take appropriate administrative steps against all armed groups who may try to disturb law and order.

The role being by TMC by joining the Maoists and their outfits and now openly organizing public meetings is a dangerous development of which serious note should be taken by your Ministry. You are aware that there are clinching evidence of the encouragement and support that the Maoists are getting from Trinamool Congress. Unfortunately you have chosen not to mention this problem in your letter.The deaths resulting from political clashes clearly show that CPI(M) workers were killed in far greater numbers than TMC supporters. I deeply deplore all deaths in such clashes irrespective of their political affiliations. In no way the violence is justified. I am trying my best to put a stop to such violence. Unfortunately, TMC is not cooperating with the administration in this effort and you are fully aware of this.

I conclude here by saying once again that I will try to go to Delhi as early as possible to meet you and discuss all the related issues.

With regards,

Yours sincerely

Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee


BUDDHADEB REPLIES TO CHIDAMBARAM: Centre Speaking Trinamul Language on Maoists Issue

Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, chief minister of the Left Front government of West Bengal, wrote to the union home minister P Chidambaram the following letter on December 28, in reply to the latter’s accusation that armed CPI(M) cadre were creating law and order problems in the state.

KINDLY refer to your secret letter dated December 21-22, 2010, which had been published in the media before it reached my office on December 27, 2010, at 11 a m.

Your assessment of the situation in the state of West Bengal is surprising and is far from an impartial overview of the situation. Maoists have spread from across the bordering states and, with the help of small section of local people, are creating problems mostly in 28 police stations in three districts of West Bengal. They are trying to create their own area of dominance. They are indiscriminately killing political opponents and even innocent people. They are attacking police stations and police camps, and looting arms. They are also engaged in large scale extortions and other unlawful activities.

You are fully aware of these activities of the Maoists. The greatest challenge is how to contain the Maoists and defeat them finally, both administratively and politically.

In recent times the state and central police, through their joint efforts, have achieved major successes. Peace and normalcy have been restored in vast areas. People who were evicted earlier are going back to their homes. Government/panchayat offices are functioning normally and so are the schools, markets and shops. Life is gradually coming back to normalcy in these areas, but still we have problems in the areas bordering our state. Trinamul Congress, which was earlier maintaining secret contacts with Maoist leaders and outfits, are now openly organising meetings with them.

The CPI(M) and its allies are trying their best to resist the Maoists by mobilising people against them and, in the process, they have lost more than 170 of their workers and leaders. Unfortunately, you are now blaming them for the present state of affairs. I am afraid it will divert the attention of all concerned who are struggling against Maoists, the greatest threat to our internal security.

As regards political clashes mentioned in your letter, I would like to correct your figures. 32 Trinamul Congress supporters have been killed and 601 have suffered injuries. The CPI(M) has lost 69 of its cadres and another 723 have been injured. The Indian National Congress has lost one of its supporters and 111 have been injured during the period mentioned in your letter. I, however, agree that it is not a happy situation and I am trying my best to stop these senseless killings. I have repeatedly appealed to all the opposition parties to cooperate. All the parties except Trinamul Congress have come forward to cooperate. The Trinamul Congress has refused to talk to the administration. I am trying to disarm and demobilise all armed groups engaged in violence in some pockets in the state.

I strongly object to your using the word “harmad” to mean the CPI(M) party workers without knowing to the actual meaning of this nasty word coined by Trinamul Congress leaders.

More when we meet!