May 23, 2010
Hope you did receive the letter that we sent to you around the end of this March. We don’t have any of your addresses. Moreover, posting the letter is a great problem. Interior villages do not have post offices. Where there is a posting facility, Harmads or the joint forces or both have camped near it. If the bearer of the letter is caught before it is being posted, it is certain that he/she will not return home. This is the scenario of the democratic establishment of Buddha-Chidambaram in today’s Jangal Mahal. We believe that there might be a few days’ delay, but you will definitely receive this letter.
The continuous false propaganda in the papers and on wireless or on TV about people’s movement in the Jangal Mahal is creating a misconception about us amongst you living in urban and suburban areas. Only 10 to 45% of our statements that are coming out almost every day are covered. That too is appended with the adverse comments of a variety of people, from local newsmen to top brass of the administration.
BLEED WE MIGHT, BUT OUR MOVEMENT WILL CONTINUE
On 17th April, Asit Mahato, spokesperson of PCAPA informed the journalists that in protest against the brutal murder of 55-year old Mansaram Sardar by the Gana-Pratirodh Committee on Baisakh 1 (15th April) a bandh has been called in the district of Purulia on April 19. On that very day police officials called for a red alert in all police stations, outposts and camps in three districts of Purulia, Bankura and West Midnapur. Joint forces carried out brutal assaults in different parts of Jangal Mahal in collusion with Gana Pratirodh Committee and Harmads. Mansaram Sardar was killed in the district of Purulia in broad daylight. Therefore, in protest of these murders conducted by Gana Pratirodh Committee and the administration we called a bandh. Was it wrong on our part to call a bandh against these murder, or is this form of movement undemocratic? Right from the start of the movement in the Jangal Mahal the Chief Minister and Home Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharyya, the Union Home minister and the bureaucrats never responded to our demands and never addressed the questions that we were raising. Instead, they carried on with the adverse propaganda against the people’s movement of Jangal Mahal for realizing their legitimate demands, and tried to silence the people by stationing more and more armed forces in Jangal Mahal.
A call was given to observe 19th and 20th April as Black Days in the sub-divisions of Jhargram and Midnapore in order to protest the arrest of Dr Nisith Mahato of the Paluiboni people’s health centre at Pirhrakuli by the joint forces on 14th April morning. The doctor is yet to be produced in Court. Apart from this, Lachhoo Mahato, an activist of the People’s committee, Gunadhar Mahato and four others, including leaders and workers from Pirhrakuli, were arrested from that village by joint forces and were never produced in any court. The joint forces and the Harmads attacked from all the directions on 14th (Chaitra sankranti) and 15th April (Poila Baisakh). People were beaten up and indiscriminately arrested. 45 persons were arrested in the early hours of 16th April, from Brindabanpur village bordering Jhargram. PCAPA gave a call to observe Black Days on 19th and 20th April opposing these attacks by the joint forces and the Harmads and the erratic arrests, and demanded unconditional release of the arrested people.
For last 5 months the state has subjected us with terrible oppression, the People’s Committee against Police Atrocities (PCAPA) has stood fast among the people, sharing their joys and sorrows. Both the Congress and the CPI (M) had thought that they would be able to isolate PCAPA by unleashing this terrible terror. But their dreams remain unfulfilled. As long as state terrorizes its people, and does not take effective steps towards the solution of the problems faced by the people, PCAPA will keep on protesting on different counts, along with the people.
MURDER, ARREST, MISSING —– CONTINUES
On 2nd and 3rd April Black Days were observed in West Midnapore, Bankura and Purulia. Why this Black Day? Five members of the PCAPA of the Belpahari Block of the Bhuladeda area went to work at a brick kiln at Fulkusma on 21st March. This year, it is very difficult to find food because farming has suffered. No money in the bank; no paddy in the house, one ought to go out for work in order to arrange for a square meal. Five went to work, but only four returned. Santosh Murmu, poor of the poorest, was killed by the CPI (M), in particular, by the brutal forces of the Gana Pratirodh Committee.
Two of our members were killed on 26th March in Lalgarh. Gouaranga Mahato, who had gone to the jungle of Dakshinshole village to graze cattle, was beaten to death by the CRPF. No case has been registered in this matter. The dead body of Gouranga Mahato lay on the ground before all eyes. The tears in the eyes of his wife and children were wiped away by none but the village folk and PCAPA. Such is the democracy, brand Chidambaram-Buddha. This is the everyday reality in the Jangal Mahal. The heroic joint forces of Manmohan-Chidambaram-Buddha feel no shame in beating to death an old man of 55 years who had gone to graze cattle. Why was this innocent man beaten to death, who will be charged with his murder, and who will answer these questions? At that time some of our statements were published in newspapers. We thought you would come out with your reaction. Previously, you did spoke for the people. When the shedding of people’s blood has become an everyday affair, is it possible to build up a resistance against this horrific state terror without your support?
On the west, in the Koira forest in Bandowan block of Purulia district, 50 years old Tarani Kumbhakar was killed on the highway by Gana Pratirodh Committee and the Harmads. Tarani Kumbhakar had left his village in fear of the joint forces and wandered here and there somehow to eke out a living. There was no case against him, nor was his name recorded in any police register. Still he fell a victim to Harmad terror. In this case also, the police did not file any FIR. Apart from these three murders, many others have disappeared without any trace.
On 25th March, Bablu Murmu was arrested by the joint forces from the Mognapur road in Dharampur. On 27th March, we started spreading this news. But there was no admission of his arrest. Finally, he was produced in court on April 3, after keeping him in police custody for almost 10 days without judicial sanction.
Jagadish Mahato, a vegetable vendor, was arrested in Manikpara bazaar on 20th March. He is yet to be produced in Court.
Sanatan Pal of Belpahari and Sagen Baske of Ramgarh were produced in court on March 23, long after their arrest. Numerous incidents like this are and taking place.
Those who had been ‘vanished’ by the Harmad forces are still missing. There is no official information about Jageswar Mahato (actually killed in the Kashijora Harmad camp) Mangal Mahato and Manmath Mahato and the others. The SDO is being reminded of the missing persons, but still there is no clue of their whereabouts. We neither have the money nor the opportunity to go to Honb’le Courts in this matter. Therefore, in protest, we are carrying out programs of fasting, dharna, barricades building, and bandhs. For us, no other mode of protest is appropriate in our attempt to obtain information regarding missing persons. We expect your help and co-operation in this matter. The responsibility of rallying the urban populace beside the innocent, struggling people is also with you, please come. After sending the list of martyrs last time, ten more people have been martyred. This is a sample of Operation Green Hunt. The operation is being carried out in Jangal Mahal together with the Harmads, the Gana Pratirodh Committee and other mercenary outfits to kill and maim the poorest of the poor in the interest of the profits of national and international big companies like Tata, Jindal, and Mittal.
WHY AN INDEFINITE BANDH
It is being said that the indefinite bandhs called by PCAPA are responsible for the price rise. But, look, our demands fall upon deaf ears. CPI (M), Congress, TMC and the other parties are clamoring that the bandhs are causing great inconvenience to the ordinary people. But, there is silence in the matter of our problem. The reason for their silence is also crystal clear. It is their government that has sent the joint forces to the Jangal Mahal. The state Congress party cannot, therefore, deny its responsibility for the invasion by the joint forces. So, all the people know that these political parties will not support any movement by the people against the oppression of the Harmads and the joint forces; rather, they will only make adverse propaganda against the people. On 4th April, Home minister P Chidamdaram during his visit to the Jangal Mahal had stated clearly that the invasion will continue and more forces will be deployed.
PCAPA called three districts bandh to oppose Chidambaram’s visit on 4th April and was a complete success. Sitting at Lalgarh, Chidambaram presented opportunities for much merriment. He tried to divert the problems of the people. Chidambaram used this tour also for election propaganda. He threatened to arrest PCAPA spokes person Asit Mahato. He remembered Asit’s name, but not a word passed his lips regarding arrest of the CPI (M) murderers, the stalwarts of the various outfits for large number of murders that they did. The people of West Bengal could easily make out from all his talks and drama that on which side he stands and for whose protection he is spending the huge amount of money on joint forces in Jangal Mahal. It is now clear as daylight that the joint forces aim to re-establish Harmad regime. This was reported in a number of newspapers. Side by side, the object is to dislocate the Adivasi original habitants and hand over all the valuable mineral and forest resources to domestic and foreign capitalists like Tata, Jindal and Mittal. But what Chidambaram has said in favor of establishing the rule of the CPI (M) and Harmads in order to hand over all the resources to domestic and foreign capitalists will never be accepted by the people of Jangal Mahal.
Many were arrested from different areas on 4th April. There had been many arrests prior to this date, too. Joint forces entered villages of the Jhargram, Binpur, Bandowan, Ranibandh, Salboni, Raipur, Sarenga, Simlapal, Taldangra, Goaltore in the morning. Prisoners in police custody were dressed in police uniforms and pressurized to identify activists and supporters of the PCAPA. A barricade movement against all these atrocities started from 5th April. Roads were dug up in all places. People from hundreds of villages participated in putting up the barricades.
Administration, in every way, tried to break the people’s barricade program. Wherever the police got hold of any person, he/she was beaten up and arrested. During the barricade program the police took away all the medicines belonging to the health centre at Rameswar of Salboni and arrested Jahar Mahato, in-charge of medicine supply. Apart from this, police also tried to bribe a few people with a variety of incentives to sabotage our work. Incidents of attacks from the Chandra, Dherua, Chengshol, Pirakata, Bhimpur, Lalgarh, Sijua in Malbandi (Kotwali) camps by the joint forces together with the Harmads increased manifold. In the Kandandi activists of our committee and members of the Sido-Kanhu militia were arrested. The joint forces and the Harmad gangs tried to arrest our active worker, Sanjoy Mahato, both before and after the joint forces entered the Malbandi region. He was arrested on 2nd April. Sanjoy and Sanatan were not produced before the judiciary till 19th April. In these 17 days they were taken to various places in Salboni, Jhargram, Midnapore, Kharagpur, and Kolkata.
Since the beginning of 2009, people have confronted the Harmads near Madhupur frequently. The people’s resistance was led by Kanchan Deb Sing, who was also the leader of the PCAPA in that area. After the joint forces arrived, there were many attempts to arrest him. In the last 15 months, the people, in numbers from 1000 to 10,000 strong, confronted Harmad 50 to 60 times. During the 11 months of the arrival of joint forces there were some 40-50 head-on confrontations. Hemanta Deb Sing and Jaladhar Mahato were martyred on 2.9.09. Martyr Hemanta Deb Singha was Kanchan’s brother. The joint forces duped Kanchan into captivity on April 8, 2010.
Police conducted a search operation in Radhamohanpur (Dhanaidi), the village of Kanai, Binpur area mass leader of the PCAPA. All the men left the village. After house to house searches 30 people including women and children were arrested on 8th April. Apart from this, the joint forces arrested another 200 from other places. All these incidents occurred during the pendency of indefinite barricading program. So, from 9th April, the indefinite barricading was converted into indefinite Bandh. From the evening of 13th April, the Bandh was relaxed on account of the local festivals of Chaitra sankranti and Naba Barsha (Bengali new year). We always implement a resolution keeping in mind the needs and requirements of the locals. Our movement is for defending the people’s rights and interests. On the other hand, please notice that even on the days marked for festivals like Chaitra sankranti and Poila Baisakh there was bloodshed in the Jangal Mahal by the Harmads and the joint forces. Wherever there are police atrocities, PCAPA is standing beside those who are hurt, and that is why a strong mass movement against police atrocities could be built.
STAND BY THE RAVAGED VILLAGES LIKE DEULKUNDA
As the movement of the Adibasi and original inhabitants led by PCAPA, spread from Pirhakata, the armed Harmad camp retreated. The joint forces built a new camp and two new police stations are being set up in Garhgarhipal. People are no longer tolerating Harmad terror. Therefore, village after village joined the movement from Satpati to Salboni via Tyakshal. In the last four months a strong mass movement was built in this sprawling forest. Congress, especially Chidambaram, Buddha and his assistants, Dipak Sarkar, sushanta Ghosh, Tapan, Sukur are conspiring to shed blood here and establish their domination over occupied territory. This is leading to bloodshed and the numbers of the hurt are ever increasing. The number of persons displaced from villages is swelling. Retreating back from Satpati, the Harmad forces set up camp at Parulia. Then, they established a camp at Deulkunda. In January the camp at Deulkunda was transferred to two base camps at Kashikora and Ashnashuli. To protect these camps, the Satpati camp of the joint forces was shifted to Changshol. The Moupal camp was transferred to Patharkumkumi. This means that joint forces are always within 1 ½ km of the Harmad camp.
The village of Deulkunda, with about 115 houses, is 1½ km away from the Midnapur – Pirhakata metal road. Salboni is almost 14 km from here. In Kasijora, Ashnashuli bombs are hurled very day, firing is a norm. Harmad attack neighboring villages whenever they feel like. There is no count of the poultry and goats looted by them. They will beat up anyone they encounter, and some will be made “missing”.If anybody is made “missing” in between Deulkunda and Kashijora, or in between Jharnadanga, Kotwali, and Kashidanga, they are being kept at Kashijora. This fact is in the knowledge of police as well as administration, and the people. Still SP Manoj Verma will not take any action to free the people kept prisoner by the Harmad, nor has he ever spoken a word about them. The SP is an obedient servant of CPI(M) bosses and remains busy in satisfying them at any cost, even tarnishing his good name and self-esteem. The SP talks and does exactly as is being told. At their orders, he is ever busy in protecting Harmad camps. To save themselves from the barbaric attacks of the Harmads, the rich and big farmers of Deulkunda have left village and taken shelter in villages on the road from Satpati to Bhadutola. Sometimes they go to relief camps organized by the TMC or by PCAPA, sometimes stay in the houses of relatives. Those who cannot go anywhere remain in the village. The moment the news comes that the Harmads are setting out, the villages are emptied and all hide in the forest. And if somebody could not understand the signal for the Harmad setting out, his/her name will figure on the list of the “missing”.
Towards the end of January there was wide coverage in the media, and the police also repeatedly stated – three dead bodies were lying on the fields of Deulkunda and Bhuyasa villages. The pictures of bodies were published in newspapers and on the TV. The Maoists stated that on their side there wasn’t a single casuality. Fact is that on 22.1.2010, the Harmads killed a 40-year old poor Adibasi peasant of Deulkunda, named Nibaran Soren as reprisal for the death of three Harmad. Lame from childhood, Nibaran Soren could not stand or walk properly. Manoj Verma knows this. He is afraid that if he speaks the truth, he will lose his chair.
Juktasani is a poor man, no land to speak off. His is 30 years old. Earlier he supported CPI(M). Later he joined TMC. After that, he joined the PCAPA. This is his greatest crime. On 16th March, the Harmad abducted him, no news of him till this date. According to some he has been imprisoned in the Harmad camp at Kashijorha, others say the Harmads have killed him.
On 11th April, nine in the morning, the Harmads from Kashijorha Harmad camp suddenly entered Deulkunda. Many people fled the village. There is no Sido-Kanhu people’s militia in that village. So, the Harmad forces were able to abducted 28-year old poor Adivasi peasant Surai Murmu. Some said they killed him on the way. Enquiry was made, but we could not obtain any news. Again, it is heard that he was made a prisoner at Kashijorha camp.
Strangely, two central ministers Sisir Adhikary and Mukul Roy, of TMC made a statement claiming these three as their supporters. Even this we did not contest. But the question remains – what initiatives are Sisir and Mukul have taken for protecting the lives of poor tribal? The force are sent by their government which, taking the Harmads with them, is bent on a spree of destruction, killing people every day, making them “missing”, looting houses and property. But they haven’t visited the place even once. They haven’t uttered a single word in Parliament in this matter. Not a single petition is filed in the High Court. Long live this democracy! Long lives this Constitution and judicial system! We are requesting all of you to come to Deulkunda, come with court order or advise us what can we do to save the lives of innocent, oppressed people in many villages of the Jangal Mahal and places like Howrah, Hooghly, North and South 24 Parganas, Burdwan. .
THE HARMAD CAMPS HAVE LEGAL SANCTION!
Before November 2008 uprising in Jangal Mahal, armed goons of CPI(M) and its party activists unleashed ruthless terror on the people. All activities in the village, social, economic, political and cultural, proceeded as per their dictate. All of us had to endure silently whatever was dictated by CPI(M). The Panchayats under CPI(M) control were paradises for corruption. All activities of the Panchayats were linked to the interests of the local leaders of CPI(M) and their close associates. Beating up, murder, confinement, fines, attachment of land and property, pulling down homes, looting was common occurrence. The money earmarked for all government projects was pocketed by CPI(M) leaders. It was through these funds that leaders like Anuj Pandey constructed big, palatial buildings. None in the village was allowed to work and express opinions according to his/her own political beliefs. If CPI(M) diktat was not followed, that person had to remain imprisoned year after year in false cases. Poor tribal had to make huge expenses in meeting the legal matters. We don’t know what is written in the Indian constitution. We also do not know all legal stratagems. We were never given our constitutional rights. Opposing the undemocratic practice of the CPI(M) was the biggest crime. Today the UPA government led by the Congress, and the TMC dress all these undemocratic activities in democratic clothes. They have a single-point agenda to wage war on the oppressed people of the Jangal Mahal. They have deployed the forces in Jangal mahal. Since November, 2008 till today, over an area spreading over Lalgarh, Salboni, Goaltore, Midnapore, Jhargram, Belpahari many Harmad leaders of the CPI(M) and their armed forces retreated due to the resistance of the people under the leadership of our committee. For this reason, from the beginning both Congress and CPI(M) have together conspired to equip the Harmad forces with ultra-modern weapons in order to break the resistance of the people. They have always opposed any type of democratic movement and will do so in future. They are wedded to the capitalists, both domestic and foreign. That is why they have opposed people’s movement all over the country, including Singur, Nandigram and Lalgarh.
CAMPS OF MURDER FORCE QUOTED IN INTELLIGENCE REPORTS
1. Enayatpur (Kotwali) camp: Camp is right in the office building of the Manidaha Gram Panchayat. There are 80 – 100 armed mercenary criminals. Weapons – Rifle, 12 bore gun, pistol and revolver (made domestically. and made in China.) Leadership: Kamal Pan, Netai Kolay, and Ajit Senapati.
2. Camp in office building of Kangsabati Gram Panchayat. There are 70-80 members.
3. Salboni Camp : Camp in Tushar Bhaban, CPI(M) party office itself . There are 35-40 armed murderers, led by Laxmikanta Ghoshal and Narayan Singha.
4. Camp in office building of Kasijorha Gram Panchayat in Patharjuri village. There is a 60-70 strong force armed with SLR, Stengun, Rifle, pistol, bomb and other ultra-modern weapons. Led by Nishakar and Mukesh Chakraborty, Shyam Pande, brother of Anuj Pande..
5. Camp of 70-80 persons in Goaltore zonal party office, SLR, Sten gun, rifle, carbine, pistol, revolver, hand grenade everything is there.
6. Force of 80-100 in Jiapara Damcha primary school and office building of Benchapara Gram Panchayat. Rifle, gun, carbine for company. Led by Tapan Ghosh, Kiriti Hajra, Dibakar Bhuyian and Sambad Gayen.
7. Two camps in Kashia primary school and Kashia CPI(M) branch office. Force of 70-80 in each camp. AK 47, carbine, Sten gun, and all other types fire-arms are provided. Led by two CPI(M) leaders called Ajit Patra and Nirmal Mukhya. (Sambad Pratidin, 12.4.2010)
Before Chidambaram’s visit on 4th April there was loud propaganda that he would go to Mangalkot, Nanoor and different places in Burdwan. Some papers reported that on Mamata’s request he would go to see CPI(M) terror in Mangalkot, Nanoor. But their beloved Home minister did not go near those areas. He came to Lalgarh after meetings Chief Minister and his Home Secretary. We knew that he wouldn’t go to Mangalkot, Nanoor. We were clear in our minds that Chidambaram will not go to the areas outside the Jangal Mahal where the CPI(M) Harmads are carrying out attacks, burning homes, and every day bloodshed occurs and people murdered in turf wars between the CPI(M) and the TMC. His political compulsions are such that he has to be friends both with Buddha and Mamata. He came to Lalgarh, but visiting the relief camps of the people displaced due to attacks by the Harmads and the joint forces, or the villages affected by their atrocities was not in his agenda. On the occasion of Chidambaram’s visit the whole of Jangal Mahal was converted into a khaki forest. One could see only police force all around. A ‘most wanted’ list featuring all our leading activists was displayed. But people know who the real criminals are. To the people of the Jangal Mahal, today Buddha-Chidambaram-Biman-Manmohan-Mamata-Bhupinder-Chief and Home Secretaries to the Dipak and Sushanta are the real criminals. The people will judge their crimes.