Sanhati, PUDR statements on hostage-taking by CPI(Maoist) and subsequent killing of Lukas Tete

September 7, 2010

September 7 2010

Sanhati statement on hostage-taking by CPI(Maoist) and subsequent killing of Lukas Tete

Sanhati strongly condemns the hostage-taking of four Bihar policemen and the subsequent killing of one of the hostages, Bihar military police personnel Lukas Tete, by guerrillas belonging to the Communist Party of India (Maoist). As of now, the remaining three hostages have been released by the Maoists, but we strongly feel that such a practice of taking hostages is incompatible with the sort of revolutionary objective which the CPI (Maoist) claims to hold. Using prisoners-of-war as hostages, as bargaining chips for securing political demands such as the release of political prisoners, even as a tactical move, is likely to have a degenerating impact on a revolutionary organization in the long run. Far worse is the killing of a hostage, which goes against all humanistic tenets and protocols of engagement between warring parties, as laid down by the Geneva Convention and other international protocols. A hostage is by definition defenceless and at the mercy of his/her captors. It may be expected that the Indian state, representing the interests of the ruling classes, would not abide by these conventions, as evidenced by the recent killing of the spokesperson of the CPI (Maoist), Azad, and numerous other `encounter’ deaths of activists in the hand of the state security apparatus. But it is unacceptable that members of an organization that claims to fight for “peoples’ liberation” should stoop to such levels. We call upon the Maoist leadership to publicly renounce hostage-taking and killing of captive members of security forces as a means of waging war and take effective measures that members of their armed wing desist from such actions. We feel that these actions constitute indelible blots on the valiant peoples’ resistance in India today, of which the Maoists are an integral and important part.

PUDR Press statement condemning the gruesome killing of Bihar Policeman Lukas Tete by Maoists

People’s Union for Democratic Rights, Delhi (PUDR) unequivocally condemns the killing of Bihar policeman Lukas Tete by the Maoists. PUDR considers this act as brutal and violative of all democratic norms and harmful to the peoples and democratic movements. PUDR demands the immediate release of the policemen taken hostage.

PUDR once again reiterates that, if the war is imposed, then the warring parties involved should abide by the Geneva Convention and Protocol III (dealing with non-international conflicts) and other Covenants which govern the conduct of war/s. Once a person is taken into custody, by any warring side, it becomes the bounden responsibility of the captors to ensure safety of the person in their custody.

PUDR has also consistently maintained that the Indian state should seriously engage in dialogue with the Maoists. However, the Indian state and esp. the Home Ministry has shown very little signs of seriously engaging any sort of dialogue with the Maoists This is clearly revealed in the incidence related to the murder of Cherukri Rajkumar @ Azad, with whom the Home Minister and his emissary were in the process of negotiation.

Moushumi Basu & Asish Gupta

Secretaries, PUDR