Letter From Peoples’ Commiittee Against Police Atrocities to Association for Protection of Democratic Rights( APDR), Lalgarh Mancha and Intellectuals
May 4, 2010
The operation of the Joint Task Force has been continuing for last ten months in Jangal Mahal. In the budget session Mr. Manmohan Singh has declared that for now six thousand jawans are going to be deployed in Jangal Mahal. Mr. Chidambaram has advanced that the deployment will be according to the necessity; if it demands more force to be deployed, it shall be so. This Joint Force along with the C.P.I. (M) Harmads is oppressing the people, destroying their life and property. The administrative authority along with the Chief Minster of W.B. and the Union Home Minister has created the blueprint of attack sometimes in the Righter’s Building and sometimes in Midnapur, Lalgarh or Ghatshila. The war waged by the State and the Central Govt. in the name of “Operation Greenhunt” is directly destroying our lives and livelihoods in jangal mahal. The ultimate objective of the State and the Central Govt. is to loot the immeasurable natural resources of the Jangal mahal and the entire country for Jindal, Mittal, Tata, POSCO, Sail, Ambani, Birla and other M.N.C.s, killing and obliterating the entire Adivasi population.
What exactly the joint force has got after their combing operation in the Bengal-Jharkhand- Orissa- Bihar border areas for the last few weeks? Nothing. But they have surely deprived the hundreds of thousands of Adivasi people of their basic human and Constitutional rights. Our lives have been traumatized. Our regular social life has been disrupted. In JangalMahal, the market places, main roads, the govt. offices are occupied by the para military force. They are attacking us like a foreign army. At present the entire Jangal Mahal has practically been turned into a Nazi concentration camp. Wherever you go you will encounter the Joint Force, you will be interrogated, put in jail, “disappeared” or shot dead in fake encounters inside the Harmad camps. The Joint Force, the CPM party members and/or the officers will decide. And the reactionary Harmad leaders like Anuj Pande, Dalim Pande, Dipak Sarkar, Sushanta Ghosh, Tapan, Sukur and other fascist hooligans will chalk out the strategy of the operation to grab hold of Jangal Mahal.
People know Anuj, Dipak, Sushanta and others as heinous murderers. The CPM party offices are in fact synonymous with the torture chambers of the feudal lords. The joint force is for their security and protection. As the people of Jangal Mahal are keenly aware of the monstrous activities of the Harmads, they are deciding on their own about the strategy of resistance in its various stages. The present form of resistance movement may appear to be acceptable for some or may not- we really cannot do anything about this. If someone wants to advise or instruct about the form of the movement which is not really compatible with the ground reality or which is divorced from the education of history, it will not help us to sustain and advance our resistance movement.
No sooner had the operation begun the leadership of the People’s Committee Against Police Atrocity from the village committee to the central committee had to go underground. We did not want this. But even today the govt. has not withdrawn Section 144 and it is continuing its every attempt to demolish the spirit of resistance of the people.
For quite a long time the administration has been exerting a total control on the movement of the press and media persons. From the month of January practically not a single journalist has entered these areas. Whatever they are being informed by the state intelligence and the govt., they are offering as news. Thus the administration is trying to create an atmosphere of doubt and disbelief among people. The govt. did not allow any human right activist or democratic intellectual to enter Jangal Mahal from June 2009. But this same govt. is deploying police force in large numbers only to make successful the meetings and rallies of CPM. We condemn this policy.
From 22nd of March  till date the Joint Task Force has been continually firing and charging mortars in the adjacent areas of Lalgarh- Shalbani and Kotoyali in the name of combing operation. At present the operation is being carried on in the name of “Cordon and Search Operation”. The motive behind this operation is to enclose the villages and to search inside the enclosed houses so that the villagers cannot run away to the forest. Now everyday the joint force is arresting 10 to 15 or even 150 to 200 people, beating them up, torturing, threatening them in lieu of patrolling, searching operation, long range patrolling and so on. They are polluting the atmosphere. The number of incidents of unlawful detention, killing and disappearance is increasing day by day.
The family members of these disappeared persons have knocked at the door of the government but they are straightway ignored. According to government records till February  at least 15 persons disappeared. After that 15 to 20 more people have disappeared. From March 16th-20th in the demand of producing 5 “disappeared” persons in court we initiated some political activities like fasting, meetings, rallies and so on. During these activities 2 more people disappeared. Where are they? Mangal Mahato and Manmatha Mahato were the leaders of PCAPA of Lodhasuli.
Mangal Mahato was a renowned teacher. He was taken away from the village by the joint force and he is still missing. Not a single organization of the teachers has moved for this reason, even the opposition remained silent. But we protested against this and moved from Manikpara to Jhargram and from Lalgarh to Belpahari, Goaltor.
February 25th Mangal’s brother who works in Indian Railways was summoned by the police. He was allowed to talk to his brother and was told that if he wanted his brother back he had to give information about Maoist leaders. He told that it was not possible for him. Before and after these incidents police searched his quarter. Our honourable Rail Minister did not say a single word or try to save this rail employee. It is 28th of March. Till date our beloved teacher Mangal Mahato is “missing”. The case of Manmatha Mahato is almost identical. The other cases are also the same. Sanatan was arrested by the joint force on March 22. Our spokes person intimated this to the media. The news appeared in the newspapers. But police, the watch guard of Indian democracy and constitution, finally produced him in court on March 27. We have to think that the great worshippers of “peace” and “democracy”, Manmohan, Chidambaram, Buddha, Pranab, Mamata what are they trying to achieve through this joint operation in Jangal Mahal?What kind of a rule of law are they trying to impose upon us?
The only intention of this govt. is to conspire against us, arrest us, and kill us. It has nothing to do with any values. They have arrested our spokesperson Chhatradhar Mahato in the guise of journalists. They have picked up our president Lalmohan Tudu from his home and killed him. Now they are campaigning against our spokesperson Asit Mahato, inventing stories of “fake encounters”. They are trying to tempt our people, confuse them and thus suppress the movement.
Raju and Jaydev were missing from January. After Raju’s “disappearance” we organized agitational movements. Raju’s wife actively participated in these movements. But even after 4 months he remains untraced. We were compelled to declare many such people as martyrs.
Jaydev’s daughter and Raju’s wife were arrested on 20th January and were detained for 3-4 days. They lured the wife of Raju saying that if she helps them to arrest the PCAPA leaders they will let him go. From then two things have been worrying the villagers of the 8-10 villages of that area: who are those people maintaining secret nexus with the police and keeping vigil on the supporters and activists of the movement. The CPM and the police, paramilitary have adopted the strategy of dividing our people, of creating an atmosphere of doubt and disbelief. They are doing these shameless things systematically and forcefully. Now the police and the CPM will lure the family members of these disappeared persons and they will try to use them against us. In spite of the fact that once they were on our side now in the false hope of getting back their disappeared relatives they might be compelled to join the enemy camp. We do not desire this to happen, neither do you but it is a fact that in the field of struggle the tactics and dynamism of people’s resistance in its various stages will be the ultimate deciding factor.
From March 25 to 27 the joint force was deployed in large numbers in the border areas of Lalgarh- Salboni and Kotoyali. The villagers had to leave the villages. During these three days people heard the noise of continuous firing and hundreds of mortar shells. The news was widely spread among the local people that 2 jawans of the Cobra force were killed and 1 was injured. But the police demanded that 18 to 25 Maoists were killed in this firing. They also said that they could not find any dead body. On 27th the local radio broadcasted the news of Shambhu Mahato’s body being found. Shambhu is a PCAPA leader and we know that he is all right. The police also demanded that 2 dead bodies had been found in Kalsidanga on the 27th morning. They have also said that Abhishek Mukherjee, en ex-student of Jadavpur University (Kolkata) was killed in this firing. The administration is consciously spreading these rumours so that in future they can murder our activists without facing any question. Nobody is trying to identify those 3 dead bodies which they are inventing stories about. The entire region has been cordoned and we are not being able to know about our leaders and activists. Now they have started killing the poor people indiscriminately and disappearing the dead bodies.
Where exactly the list of martyrs will end?
Today (March 27) we have come to know that an activist of Adivasi-Mulvasi Janasadharaner Committee has been killed by the joint force and the Harmads but they are not taking any responsibility of this killing. On March 22, when 5-6 PCAPA activists of Vulaveda(Belpahari region) went to work in Fulkusuma brick yard, the joint force along with the Harmads killed Santosh Murmu. On 19th March a large force from the Kashijora Harmad camp near Salboni, entered the village of Deulkonda and forcefully took away a villager of Telihati named Yuktasani(42) to their camp. Till date the person remains missing. The names in the martyr list have now increased from 56 to 57. Where exactly will it end?
On March 23, Asit Mahato, the spokesperson of PCAPA informed the media that the joint force had kidnapped Jaydev Mahato, a vegetable seller from Manikpara and he is still missing. There was no statement from the government. Manoj babu, the police super of Midnapur will not take any responsibility of these incidents. The cases of Sanatan Pal of Belpahari, Sagen Baske of Ramgar who were also missing from 23rd March are the same.
We have to understand the ulterior motive behind the fake promises of Mr. Chidambaram…
The union home minister Mr. Chidambaram has requested the common people repeated times not to pose any bar against the operation greenhunt and also declared that common people will not be affected by this. Let us forget about what we are saying. Any news paper will present the ground reality. The incidents of the month of March only are as follows:
10. 03. 2010 – Near the Neguria camp of Belpahari the joint force arrested 4 people who were actually going for treatment. They were charged in false cases and even put in jail. Among them Daman Pal was an ordinary villager and the others were his in- laws.
13.03.2010 – 15 villagers of Domohani of Lalgarh and Salboni region were arrested and brutally beaten up by the joint force. Madav Mahato, our respected doctor of Vulagara health centre was also arrested. He did never interfere into anything except the treatment of his patients.
15.03.2010 – The joint force entered the village of Gaighata and plundered the house of Prasanta Murmu. They destroyed almost 15 sacks of paddy. We expect the compensation from Mr. Chidambaram.
15.03.2010 – The joint force arrested 86 people from the village of Patharpara of Goaltor. 3 days later the police declared that 10 confirmed Maoists were arrested. Noni Bose and another PCAPA leader were also among them. They were branded as staunch Maoists by the police. But why the were others detained for 3 days? Can Mr. Chidambaram, the chief lawyer of the notorious Enron Company tell us, that according to which law these things happened?
15.03.2010 – In lieu of search operation the joint force arrested 15 people from Lodhasuli region. Till now they are not produced in the court. People protested against this time and again in Jhargram and Manikpara. Several people have been physically tortured and injured by the joint force.
15.03.2010 – At least three thousand jawans of the joint force attacted the villages ofArabari, Hetashol, Bhursa, Janakpur, Parulia, Borakandi, Pidrakuli of Kotoyali P.S. and 10 other villages and continued searching operation in the houses. 5 villagers of Arabariand Hetashol were severely beaten and have become totally bedridden.
16.03.2010 – 19 villagers of Hetashol under kotoyali police station were terribly beaten by the joint force. Tangi and other agricultural apparatus were stolen from their houses. Moreover they were given false cases under arm law.
16.03.2010 – 3 persons were arrested from Ayoddhya hill and were given false cases.
17.03.2010 – Nilkanta Layek, a PCAPA activist and an inhabitant of Mundi underTaldanga P.S. (Bankura) was arrested without any reason.
18.03.2010 – On that day we were all participating in the “arandhan” programme in the call of PCAPA. “Arandhan” means the stove shall not be lighted, no food will becooked, and no food or tea is taken. Apprehending that we might use the day in terrorist activities, the joint force came into the village and tortured many amongst us.
18.03.2010 – At least two thousand men and women marched in a rally in the Manikpara P.S. area in the demand of getting the information about the “disappeared” persons and in protest against the arrests of the innocent people of Jhargram region. The joint force fired on the rally. 35 people were arrested. Later 13 elderly women got their bail. They were all tagged as Maoists. People from Bonkati, Thakurthana, Gobindopur and other 25 villages participated in agitatational programmes.
19.03.2010 – Nonashol, Dakshinshol and Notundihi were attacted by the joint force. Pratap Mahato, Lab Sabar and Kush Sabar were arrested and charged with false cases. On March 21, 600 to 700 people marched in a rally in the demand of their release. Pratap Mahato’s wife said to the media, “On Saturday afternoon the joint force entered ourvillage. They plundered our houses. While returning they told my husband to show the way. He went and they arrested him.” (“Anandabajar Patrika”, March 22). Can weexpect a message from our home minister to the wife of Pratap Mahato?
20.03.2010 – Dhiru Soren, an inhabitant of the village of Gopalpur, was arrested for walking along a street.
21.03.2010 – Common people, local businessmen and school teachers were tied up and flogged with batons by the joint force openly on highway. This operation was continued from 11 in the morning to 1 at noon in Silda market place. Initially they started interrogating and beating people. Those who dared to protest were fastened and compelled to remain kneeled down on the National Highway No. 9 amidst the rocky heat of the place.
24.03.2010 – 3 activists of PCAPA were arrested from Andharia, Binpur.
25.03.2010 – 35 people were arrested from Lakshmanpur, Rameshwarpur, Pahari, Buripaland other villages. They were all women and elderly persons. They were all innocent people.
27.03.2010 – The inhabitants of Buripala, a village in Pirakata, Shalboni were brutally tortured by the joint force. Sachin Mahato, a local businessman was beaten and forcibly taken to the police station. When his wife tried to stop them they made her naked and beat her up. Ms. Sonia Gandhi, Brinda Karat and other self proclaimed women leaders of our country who shout for the 33% women reservation in the Parliament are shamelessly supporting the physical and mental abuses on the adivasi women. Our Honourable Railminister, Ms. Mamata Banerjee’s silence is practically a license to these heinous deeds of the joint force.
More and more incidences shall be added to the list with passing days. These have become the regular feature of Jangal Mahal. The official declaration of the “Operation Greenhunt” has aggravated the situation. Not a single parliamentary party has opposed the central policy of deploying twenty two thousands more paramilitary force in JangalMahal. From Chidambaram- Buddhadeb Bhattacharya to Mamata Banerjee everybody is involved in this. Even the leaders representing the adivasi people in the Parliament remain silent. When Mr. Kabir Suman tried to voice against these monstrous activities he was cleverly gagged by the T.M.C. supremo. The question of abiding the rules and regulations of the party became more important than the lives of these poor people. Gurudas Dasgupta, the elected M.P. of Ghatal constituency, Dipak Sarkar, Susanta Ghosh and our Union Home Minister Mr. Chidambaram, who was again the former member ofthe director board of Vedant groups are all agreed in this point that the operation ought to be continued. We have also decided to carry on our resistance movement. This is the only way to attain our rights.
Satnala, Barikul, Bhalukchira, Sitarampur – No Matter which Village is it – The Mass Demands the same -We Do Not Want Camps…
From November 2008 till June 2009 we demanded the closure of the police camps. These have not been functioning to provide the mass with security. The government turned a deaf ear to our demands. Thousands gathered at last to agitate before the camps. It was only through constant public protest that some of these camps were shut down. But to our utter dismay from 16th January onwards many such new camps have again come up. These police camps primarily provide protection to the Harmads and the local CPIM leaders. Whenever policemen shall come out of any of these camps, the joint force and the Harmads use this as an opportunity to harass the local people passing through the village thoroughfares. These villages have gained fame in the past few months for the democratic mass-protest of the people living here. You are not left in peace by the joint force or the Harmads if they ever come to know that you belong from these villages.
At Satnala, Bankura, the joint force had to confront the agitating women of the village as they were taking some villagers as prisoners. Our organizational leaders were not present there at thatpoint. Recurrent acts of repression yielded spontaneous hatred from amongst the mass. These women drove away the policemen and some were beaten up too. A long past of exploitation ought to cause such reaction. This might happen yet again. We do not see this as any wrongdoing. We shall always stand by this protesting and rebellious mass. The policemen fledaway without their weapons. We came to learn from the news media that the villagers collected these abandoned weapons. It was from the newspaper that we came to know that one policeman was found dead. Such incidents are not rare in the pages of history, specially the history of tribalrebellions. Many more such incidents will happen. This is what the history of mass rebellions has been like. You must be knowing history better than us. Standing on the precipice of the present times, you and we must salute this rebellious spirit of the people.
Now another incident deserves to be brought into attention. The slaughterers of the jointforce entered this village to brutally persecute the villagers in the name of investigation. Old Hopen Soren of Talpukuria village was brought outside his home to be killed by the joint forceof Chidambaram- Mamata- Buddha on 26th January, the “Republic Day”. Lakshmi Soren died atthe hospital on 31st January. An agitation by around six to seven thousand people was organized by our women’s wing, in front of the Barikul police station on 1stFebruary. Six amongst those women went inside the police station to present their deputation to the Officer-in-Charge. The
OC asked them all to return, saying that no such atrocities by the joint force or the harmads willever recur. In our naivety, we believed him. As we were returning, the ‘brave’ policemen fired upon these unarmed people. Four middle-aged women: Ashumoni Murmu (50). Chudamoni Murmu (45), Thakurmoni Soren (48), Dhonmoni Murmu (42) fell victim to state sponsored terrorism. They were all married and tribal. Chhitamoni Murmu lost her eye on 3rd November 2008. Lakshmi Pratihar’s unborn child was lost forever. In this 15 months of rebellion people have been loosing their limbs, eyes and even lives every now and then. Is it Sonia or Manmohan or Chidambaram or Mamata or Buddadev or Biman or Kshiti Babu or Ashok Babu or ManojBabu or Siddhartha or Partha Babu or Subrata Babu, who will take the responsibility of this hellish brutality?
The media was not allowed to enter the village after this. They were compelled to write what the government told them. No investigation could be carried out. Despite our limited capabilities, we are trying to present before the civil society the naked truth behind what happened that day. We do not bother to know what others are saying. There was neither any Maoist there that day. Nor was any counter firing carried out. We shall not be able to decipher if you have been influenced by the State’s false publicity, but a rift has no doubt been created between us. It is even being said in Kolkata that the Maoists are polluting the character of a mass rebellion at Lalgarh. We are being straightforward in our clarification- No, it is not so. The rebellion at Jangalmahal, has primarily remained a mass rebellion at all its important junctures. We shall request you to never forget this. Now let us look at a general meeting held by the Maoists. The camps at Gowaltore and Bhalukchira villages had been shut down by the state. It was announced that the camps shall bebrought back. On 20.03.10 the Maoists took out a protest march consisting of around two thousand people. The joint force started firing from distance. The Maoists also fired back. The jawans fled away. People set fire on the camp. This is the truth, which was however, distorted by the state. We have not yet noticed any statement in regard to this from the Maoists. The people here are opposed to the idea of having either camps or joint force in their villages. None of these camps were built to help the people living here. So please voice your opinion yet again – the joint force must be withdrawn. It is because of this joint force that thousands of our leaders, workers and supporters are being compelled to stay away from their homes. Those who have been caught have been taken as prisoners. Quite a few have gone “missing” and many have been killed as well. The mass has become resistant to this repression.
We would like to share yet another topic with you. Police camps had been set up since 2003 to safeguard the camps of the harmads at Kashijoda, Asnashuli, Sindrabajar and the house
of the CPIM MLA from Sitanathpur. Those have been evacuated now. In these past seven years,the ruling party was running these camps by taking over the local school buildings by force. People and the students have demanded the withdrawal of these camps over and again, but with no result. After the Maoist attack at the camp at Sildah, these camps were withdrawn due to thelack of security. This withdrawal has not effected the common people of Sitanathpur or the nearby villages. It is rather the harmads, who have been in problem. Now CPIM is again shouting that the camps will be re-opened. On hearing this, four thousand people of the area gathered at Sitanathpur School. The school committee and the teachers have decided that they will not allow the police camps to be opened again. It is for you to decide whether their demand is unjust.
The Joint Military Force and Camps of Harmads:Curse to Us!
From 22-23 February you all have come to know through the leading dailies, how the joint military force and Harmads have come together to devastate Jangalmahal. We too have been counter-defensive. The joint military force has kept many as captives. Their vans passthrough the road between Medinipore and Dhedua almost incessantly through out the day. They have built up camps at Bagherpukur, Nayagram and Kankabati to provide the base camp of the Harmads at Enaetpur with better protection. A brand new police station has in fact been put up at Gurgur pal. Camps have also been put up at Bangshol, Patorkumi and Vadutala to provide the CPIM Party Office at Vadutala and the base camp of the Harmads, with better security. At present we are aware of thirty such camps at Lalgarh, Shalbani, Gowaltore and Kotowali. There are fifty others such camps all over Jangalmahal of which we do not know much. The Harmads in these camps are armed with the most updated war equipments. Almost each has his own modern shooter. Up till now they would be deployed as “private forces”, but now with the adventof the Joint Military Force, they have gathered wings. The CPIM has taken the joint military force to be its “Red Militia” and our dear Home Minister Chidambaram is not sitting ignorant ofthis. All is being done at his advice. From the Governor Narayanan to Mamata Banerjee, from Partha to Manas, each is aware of how this assault is being carried out.
Five thousands from amongst the Salwa Judum force have been made into special police officers at Chhatisgarh. And so is being done here by the “Left” state government as wellaccording to what was published in a Bangla news daily. We look forward to your enlightening us about how to carry forward a consolidated movement, how to prevent the atrocities with the
help of law. Our organization and the people of Jangalmahal shall stand by any such endeavours by you. We shall request you to verify the truth behind this information and let us know. As the process to legalize a Nazi troupe must be prevented in the interest of the mass, we shall beg youto reflect over this issue.
Help Us to Maintain Unhindered Health Services For the Mass
We have been able to built up thirty-five health centers, all over Jangalmahal within a year’s time and these are being run by our health department. These centers are providing health services and medicine for free. Meanwhile we have also announced a special health scheme for the women and another for the poor children and those affected with incurable diseases. Under these two new schemes we shall be able to extend health services even outside the health centers. Patients shall be provided with treatment for free through these schemes. We plan to open as many new centers as there are already in the near future. But the Joint forces and the Harmads are doing everything possible to impede our attempt to do something for the commoners; they are even carrying out false allegations. On the other hand, we have at last built up a permanent hospital at Chakdoba, Belpahari. People from twenty-five nearby villages accelerated the work by providing labour. The localites have been demanding for hospital, here, for thirty long years. Our “compassionate” “leftist” government, however, chose to hibernate.
The Joint forces closed the health center at Kantapahari, immediately after entering thearea. You all know this. In these last ten months, the doctors have been threatened many a time,so have been the patients. Both the doctors and the patients chose to stay off the health centers as militants from the Joint forces shall be found sitting their during the functional hours. A new trick is being played off late. These health centers are being accused of providing treatment to the wounded Maoists and thereby being looted off the medicines. Patients are also being taken asprisoners on the ground of baseless accusations. This is how the state is conspiring to destroy the health facilities and thereby to obliterate the poor people of Jangalmahal.
Right after the task force consisting of secretaries from the Writers Building came into being in June, it was announced by the state government that there shall be hospitals here. This, declaration, however, has neither seen any implementation till date, nor will it ever happen. The government had come up with the proposal that some NGOs shall put up weekly health camps. This was not what was needed. In the meantime CRPF already held some medical camps at the
two camps in Belpahari. Some villagers were forced to come to them. Some meager ointments and tablets were distributed. Media went on to publicize the “concern for the mass” of these murderers. And that was it. Our parents and grandparents have been living in these forests. We need healthcare for our survival. No matter even if we must shed our blood, these heath centers, opened by us shall carry on functioning (a list of the names of the health centers and a call for help addressed to the doctors and the medicine dealers is being given at the end of this letter). All these works are being done under broad daylight. We are not being secretive, as we have often been alleged of being. We have asked before what crime did Dr. Madhav Mahato commit? Who has the answer? No matter whether anyone dares to answer or not, the people of Jangalmahalshall always protest against the state sponsored terrorism, in the greater interest of the mass. Our organization conducted meetings and marches against police atrocities on 27th and 28th March.
Our demands were:
1) Make the meetings and the marches against the terrorism of the Joint forcesand the Harmads at the thirty health centers, run by the health department of the People’s Committee Against Police Atrocities, a success.
2) Dr. Madhav Mahato of Bhulagarh health center must be released immediately.
3) Doctors, workers and patients at the health centers must not be arrested or harassed.
4) The Joint Military Force and the Harmads carry out the most obnoxious murders, throughout the years. Oppose the anti mass politics of Congress -TMC – CPIM, where they first make people injured and gone “missing” and then come to soothe the wounds.
Friends, we shall request you to consider health care as one of the fundamental problems of the mass and thus to help us in operating these health centers.
About Ranjit Pal, the Headmaster
IC Robi Lochon was killed a few days back by the guerilla soldiers of CPI (Maoist). He had become a close associate of Dipak Sarkar and Amiyo Patra (leader of the CPIM atBankura district), after working at Jangalmahal for seven years. He was ordered by Amiyo Patro to arrest and kill our leader from the central committee and in-charge of the department for the martyrs, Gopal Pratihar. Gopal Pratihar was however, saved by the people. Not being able to trace Gopal Da, he at last caught hold of Shibu Pratihar, his son by the end of August 2009. Shibu Pratihar was presented at the court and thereafter taken in police custody for interrogation. This officer tortured Shibu Da to death in police custody. No one was, however, arrested for this. Nor was Robi Lochon. He later died in the bullet battle between the Maoists and the Police Force. Neither did we have any role to play in his death, nor do we know the details. Around 40-50 people were arrested from the Gowaltore-Sarenga jungle, but none were presented at thecourt. It was only to draw the attention of the civil society and those at the city towards the terrorism that is practiced by police at Jangalmahal that The Sidhu-Kanu- People’s Army kept teacher, Ranjit Pal as a captive for six days. The news of those who were illegally arrested in the past two days by the Joint forces was thus brought to the headlines. But both administration and media used this for distorted publicity.
The teacher was, however, released by the Sidhu-Kanu-People’s Army. The government in relation to this teacher took no step. The Joint forces carried out a combing operation starting from the Bhalukbasha forest. The Joint forces claimed that our editor, SidhuSoren, carried out an eight hours-long gunfight. No such battle was, however fought in reality. No one died that day. It was all a false publicity.
It was in the month of March that the Joint forces from Dharampur camp had entered the village of Harinathpur and badly beaten up the retired principal of that village. Their family is still in escapade. The incident of beating up Kshamananda Mahato, the retired principal ofBodo Polia village, on 6th November 2008, by the CRPF, much before the rebellion at Lalgarh started off is perhaps not yet forgotten by you. We have neither forgotten that, nor have we forgiven. We shall never forgive the Joint forces for beating up the headmaster from Harinavillage as well.
We have been lending our support for a mass movement for long. A teacher, who supports the cause behind this mass struggle, no matter who he is, shall be protected by us.
Teachers in favour of the Harmads like Tapan-Majid master shall be persecuted at the people’s court. This might or might not be the policy that many agree to, but the long oppressed mass has chosen this policy and looks forward to put it into practice.
Where is the Dead body of our dear Lalmohan Tudu? Our Question for the Human Rights Activists – Why did you Fail to Bring Back the Dead Body of Lalmohan Da?
We were waiting for you for long. We expected you to come, specially, after the cold-blooded murder of Lalmohan Tudu in a false encounter. We hoped that you all shall take his dead body to Kolkata and perform his last rites with respect or at least hand over his body to his family at Lalgarh. Neither of this two happened. We came to learn from the media that you hadcome to Jhargram and Medinipore. People at jangalmahal became hopeful. Yes, we shall get back the body. But it did not happen so. The day you appealed to the court, we thought that evenif our friends could not reach us, they must do something in the path of ‘law’. It was never a grand demand by us. It was a rather small democratic plea – the plea to get back the dead boy of our dear leader. Our democratic plea however was not met with. You chose to remain indifferent. This question is being put forth without any malice.
The news media presented two disparate facts. While some dailies claimed that you withdrew the case from the court, others published that the court has adjourned the case. We do not want to know, which of these is right. Our question is, where did the dead body go? We later read that TMC supreme Mamata Banerjee and the leader of the opposition Partha Chattopadhyay shall put in their efforts to bring back the dead body. But it did not come. During British colonialism, rebellious tribals were hanged to death over and again. You must be knowing ofsome, whose dead bodies were not returned. The colonial tradition continues. When theyproclaim that democracy still lives, we are left astounded. Before and after the movement at Lalgarh started off and especially since advent of the joint military forces, we could never perceive democracy in the attitude of the pseudo leftist state government or the Congress at the center. But despite it all, our remonstrations were always restricted within the constitutional limits. But see, Congress- TMC- CPIM and the other “constitutional practioners” have banned our organization. TMC, again has now started a feign display of empathy over this issue.
In spite of it all, Lal Da’s body still remains at the morgue in Jhargram. Even the media could not let us know of what have they done with the body. After the case was withdrawn, whenever heard you uttering a word on this issue.
This dark and lean man, who was ever vigilant about the welfare of his people, we never imagined that the body of a man, who led the tribals in their uprising against state sponsored oppression shall be returned to us by the state government. These pseudo leftists would once narrate the story of Spartacus. And the body of Lalmohan Tudu, the Spartacus of today must rot at the morgue. No matter what they do, his views, his adamant zeal, his dreams, his depth ofunderstanding, his courage, his love, his hatred towards the establishment and his strategies to defend us against the operation of the Joint forces have been inculcated in us. They shall live onand be our guiding spirit all through our struggle against the state.
You must be knowing better than us about human rights, the role of the lawmakers and state’s terrorism against its own people. How could you fooled despite that by the declarations of the establishment? Whether it was a deliberate suspension of common senses or whether you were gulled while being unaware is not what we demand to know. We are taken aback to find that you failed to consolidate the potent and progressive voice of the people against what was done to this tribal leader.
It was most apparent from his dead body that Lal Da was shot from a point blank range much before the post mortem reports came out. People from his village told journalist friends so. Even the blood marks in the field near to his home testified this fact. But despite it all we could never pay our last respects to this martyr, who laid down his life for the oppressed lot. Please reflect over what shall be our appropriate mode of protest against this. Our hearts have been set on fire. The flames shall augment the rebellion, we hope.
A baseless report was published from the Writer’s – The family of Lalmohan Tudu did not want to take back his dead body. Respected friends, how could you believe this false declaration of the state? “We shall not go to bring his body, as we feel insecured that we might also be taken as prisoners”- This is what was told to many reporters by many of Lalmohan Tudu’s family members. This news was published as well. And you, the human rights activists could not decipher this as well. What stopped the intelligentsia of Kolkata, who are resolute topay their historical responsibility in support of a mass uprising, from bringing forth the state’s viciousness before the common mass? Please speak up. Home secretary, DG, home minister Chidambaram, the central home secretay G.K.Pillai, chief minister Buddhadev Bhattacharyanone seems to be in a position to confess and confront the truth about Lalmohan Tudu.
We ought to remember that Lalmohan Da had been in Kolkata from 19th to 22nd February. He met many over this period. He met you as well. He spoke at length about the inhuman violence and the act of making villagers gone “missing” by the Joint force and theHarmads, to two of the left alliances and many other political parties. He also disclosed to them,the mass programs of the People’s Committee Against Police Atrocities. Two amongst the council of left ministers, who have often been vocal against state sponsored terrorism, then suggested him to sit in a demonstration in front of the DM office on 21st February. LalmohanTudu enquired that how would that be possible at all, when they are not being allowed to takeout protest marches in the village? He told them that the government has unofficially banned the organization and its members and a demonstration in front of the DM’s office is not a feasible option. The two ministers, however, chose to remain silent over this. We do not know it what they later discussed at the meeting of the council. Lal Da was killed within the next twenty-four hours. The repression by the police increased furthermore. We learnt from the newspapers that the DM was transferred elsewhere, under the pressures created by Dipak Sarkar, a CPIM leader. Now if we call this transfer illegal, the DM might be suspended as well.
The radio Kolkata bulletin broadcasted on 23rd February morning that Maoists had attacked the camp at Kantapahari. In the gunfight that took place, one Maoist was found dead.The story was further furnished with distorted detailing, when it was told that, when the Maoists assailed the patrolling party, CRPF jawans had no options, but to take up arms against them anda Maoist died thereby. Chidambaram told the same story too at the session in assembly. Ganashakti, the mouthpiece of CPIM, also published this.
Our committee directly accused the state for killing Lal Da. It was primarily to suppress this truth that the dead body was hidden. It was kept within at the morgue at Jhargram. The pseudo lefts at power were apprehensive that a sight of this murdered body shall further instigatethe mass uproar. They wanted to perpetrate the politics of terror by showing the sorry condition of the Lal Da’s body. What was ought to happen, happened. All over Jangalmahal; in everyhousehold, at the places of worship, at protest marches and meetings, on flags, everywhere it echoed Lal Da…Lal da. Friends, you remain accountable to the young people of Jangalmahal about why the dead body of the martyr could not be brought back.
Is the Right to Say “No” Unjust?
The repressive violence of the Joint force and the Harmads must not continue. There must not be any corruption in the government’s works. Tribal must not be evicted to let themultinationals, accrue their profits from using the natural resources of rivers, forests and mines –Is this right to say “no” undemocratic? When the government has chosen to be indifferent towards the needs of the people of Jangalmahal for years all together, are then the efforts of themass to build hospitals, small dams, deep sinking tube wells and wells for the betterment of the lot unconstitutional?
Members from Gandhi Shanti Pratishthan had taken out a peace march from Digha to restore peace at Jangalmahal. Neither do we know were exactly they went nor are we aware of were the march ended. Peace, nevertheless was not reinstated at the blood-spattered Jangalmahal. TMC leader, Mamata Banerjee announced that she shall take out a rally to bring back peace here. Mamata, Pranab and the governor had a lengthy meeting on this issue as well. Manmohan andChidambaram are sending a troupe of another six thousand jawans of the Joint force to Jangalmahal. DG Bhupinder Singh, DG (CRPF) Vijay Raman and other high ranked policeofficials are having meetings at almost every state. They are preparing their blueprint. This is their blueprint to perpetuate their rule of terror over the people of Jangalmahal and thus to hand over the natural wealth of the region to the capitalists. Their repression is increasing withevery passing day. We have been earnestly trying to prevent this repression and this theft of our precious resources by using all possible legal and constitutional options. We are organizing peaceful meetings and marches. But where murders, repression, announcing people as gone missing and rape of democracy have become the regular realities, there the mass is often notbeing able to differentiate between violence and non-violence. The flames that have been ignited by customary violence and exploitation cannot be left buried in obscurity. People are spontaneously coming up with other means of protest. We are in support of all potent weapons ofa mass movement that shall enable us to prevent our resources from being sold out to thecaptalist. We must protect our nature from destruction.
We hope to find you by our side in our revolt against the repression that we have been subjected to. For the sake democracy, in favour of the tribal population, who have been repeatedly repressed, to extend their struggle, to save the forestland of your country, to save thenature from being sold out to the national and international business houses, make this movement of protest and prevention a success by your unyielding participation.
Gopal Pratihar, In-charge,
The Department For Extending Support To the Families of the Martyrs.
People’s Committee Against Police Atrocities.
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