India: People’s Liberation Guerilla Army Carries Out Daring Ambushes in Chhattisgarh
Posted by Ka Frank on January 15, 2010
This interview appeared in Maoist Information Bulletin 11, dated October 7, 2009, which is available on Banned Thought.
On 12 July 2009, the PLGA carried out a series of attacks in Maanpur area of Rajnandgaon district in which 30 policemen were wiped out, including the S.P. Vinod Kumar Chaube. After these attacks, some of the media representatives raised a lot of questions before us. This interview given to MIB in the first week of September attempts to answer these questions.
Interview with Gudsa Usendi, spokesperson of the Dandakaranya Special Zonal Committee of CPI(Maoist) on the daring Madanwada Ambush
Q: Your party had carried out a big attack in a very planned manner in Maanpur area of Rajnandgaon district. Rather, it should be said that you carried out many attacks simultaneously. In Chhattisgarh, this is the first time that you have killed an S.P. [Superintendent of Police]. This has resulted in a great loss of men and material to the police. This is said to be the biggest attack since Ranibodli. What are your comments? Can you tell us in some detail that how all this happened?
A: Yes, certainly it was a fairly big operation. A special company of our PLGA has successfully carried out this ‘Operation Vikas’. This was actually an ‘area ambush’. Under this operation, four ambushes were carried out at three places. The first ambush was carried out near the Madanwada camp at about 6 a.m. on 12th July. A small team of ours attacked the STF jawans stationed at Madanwada base camp in which 2 jawans were killed. Rest of the policemen ran into the camp. On hearing this, the S.P. came running with his force. Behind him came IG Mukesh Gupta with his contingent. Our second ambush on them was planned near the village Korkotti. Since, Korkotti is merely 5 km from Maanpur and is situated on a metalled road, and also since it is 15-20 km away from Madanwada, we calculated that police will not expect an ambush at that place.
First time, SP’s contingent managed to pass the ambush site, because of some misunderstanding on our part. Only one or two rounds were fired from our side, in which his driver was injured. There was no firing from their party. They just ran for their lives. SP’s party had passed from the ambush spot at quarter to ten. After 15 minutes, when it was about 10 am, another police party came from Maanpur on 13 motorcycles. They ran straight into our ambush. This ambush continued for about an hour in which 11 policemen were killed and all their arms were seized. While this ambush was going on, SP’s party, taking along the additional force from Sitagaon camp and with the help of a mine-proof vehicle, ran straight towards Maanpur. At that time, our comrades were on the road engaged in wiping out the remaining policemen and in seizing the arms of the dead policemen. But the SP did not muster courage to stop at that place. The question of confronting us didn’t arise. He went straight to the contingent of the IG who was stationed at some distance towards Maanpur.
After this ambush, our comrades, retreated to a small distance. After a lot of consultations, the IG and SP probably concluded that our attack was over. They were assured that our guerrillas had gone away. Firing from our side had stopped for quite some time. Other policemen had already fled leaving behind the dead. Everything was quiet. It was with this confidence that they strarted advancing under the protection of the mines proof vehicle. We were watching all their activities keenly. In a way, it can be said that our PLGA was waiting for this opportunity only. When they came and started picking up the bodies of their dead policemen, at that time our third ambush, second one at the same spot, started. This ambush was much swifter than the first one. Our fighters completed the entire operation in a very short time. Our red fighters kept advancing at a lightening speed. Along with the SP, many others were also killed in this ambush. In all, 14 policemen were wiped out and their arms were seized. In these two attacks near Korkotti, 3 policmen were also injured, of which, one died later on. In this way, totally 26 policemen were killed and 2 injured at Korkotti. Our comrades came away from that place at arround 1:30 pm. That means, our comrades were stationed there for nearly three and half hours.
After this, at about 2:30 pm, at Karekatta between Madanwada and Sitagaon, our fourth and final ambush was carried out successfully. There too, a small party of ours targeted a police party that was coming on foot. In a mine blast and firing, two policemen, which included one officer also, were killed and one was injured.
Although the police force following them fired in retaliation, it had no effect. After completing their mission in a few minutes, our comrades safely retreated. In this whole operation, we seized 25 arms, after wiping out 30 policemen, including an SP and injuring three.
Q: According to the police, 10 to 15 naxalites were also killed in this offensive. Some papers have also published that many bodies of your people have been buried in the forests. How far this is true?
A: This is a blatant lie. What has been very special about this operation is that we suffered no losses at all. Only one of our comrades got a scratch, which was healed within a few days. All the claims of the police are nothing but a pack of lies. With the help of such blatant lies, police officers are trying in vain, to boost up the morale of their demoralized force. Not only this, in many recent attacks also, such false claims were made. As far as the propaganda about burying the dead bodies is concerned, when any of our comrades is martyred in a battle, we don’t hide the fact. On the contrary, we propagate their sacrifices among the masses. We build Martyrs’ columns in their memory. We print pamphlets about them and distribute widely. We take pledge to carry forward their unfulfilled dreams.
Q: In the media it has also been reported that your guerrillas looted the belongings of the dead policemen and there was ill-treatment of the dead bodies. Is it true?
A: Not at all. As I told earlier, from the dead policemen, we seized 25 modern weapons, which included 7 AK-47, 14 Insaas, 3 SLR, 1 two inch mortar, hundreds of bullets, more than a dozen of hand grenades, 22 bullet proof jackets, 14 helmets, 3 walkie talkie sets and some cell phones. During the search, some currency (Rs 8,732) was also found. Apart from this, we seized no private belongings. As for ill-treating the bodies, such a question just does not arise. Our policy regarding the enemy soldiers is quite clear.
Q: You have called it ‘ Operation Vikas’. What does that mean? Can you elaborate on that?
A: We had named this operation as ‘ Operation Vikas’. Recently, on 24thMay, 2009 Andhra SIB had brutally murdered our central committee member comrade Vikas (Patel Sudhakar). It was also in this area, on 16th September 2006, our Special Zonal Committee member Com. Vikas (Srinivas) was killed in a fake encounter. Avenging these murders and bringing ‘Vikaas’ (development) in the revolutionary movement by defeating the repression of the enemy in the Maanpur area with the help of these attacks – this has been the aim of our ‘Operation Vikas’. This operation vikas is part of the Tactical Counter-Offensive Campaign (TCOC) taken up by our party in entire Dandakaranya region with the objective of destroying the enemy forces in large numbers, accelerating the guerilla war and arming our PLGA forces with better weapons seized from the enemy forces.
Q: Rajanandgaon district is generally considered as a calm area and the people here are peace-loving and you have caused this bloodshed. Why you have done so?
A: We must see the peace and tranquility from the class outlook. It is true that the people of this district generally desire peace and tranquility. Not only in Rajanandgaon this is true about the people of entire Chattisgarh and for that matter in every region of the country. The persons breaking this peace and tranquility are the oppressive exploiters and their state machinery. The peace-loving nature of the people shouldn’t be interpreted as their willingness to indefinitely bear injustice and oppression. The masses of Rajanandgaon always fought against the oppression, exploitation and repression carried out by the rulers. The Adivasi people of the forest area always kept their flag of revolt flying high staking their claim on the forest and to protect the water, forest and land from the occupation of outsiders. The working class here has a glorious history of struggles in BNC mill and many other factories fighting against the exploitation and oppression. And many workers had faced the bullets.
In this Maanpur area there was an attack on 31st May when police forces created terror in Jakke and Ghodagaon villages beating the people including women brutally, abused them and molested the women. But the people didn’t take it quietly, the men and women joined hands protesting against the police brutality. Maddened by the people’s protest, police opened fire on unarmed villagers seriously injuring two villagers. We can cite many such incidents of police brutality on innocent people and the strong and fearless resistance by the people.
As far as bloodshed is concerned, it is better that this question is put first to Ramansingh, Mahendra Karma and Manmohan Singh or else to Viswaranjan and Nankiram. Who is playing with the blood of innocent people? Singaram, Thongapal and Punjare massacres, like this how many more can we count? Who is responsible for the deaths of more than 1000 innocent people killed in the last four years in the terror campaign unleashed by Salwa Jhudum in west and south Bastar? Mass rapes of hundreds of women, complete destruction of more than 600 villages, forceful evacuation of people, arson and fake encounters were carried out for ensuring the control of big capitalist houses like Tatas, Jindals, Essar on the wealth of Bastar district. It is to avenge all these actions that we had carried out this action.
Q: Recently police had opened new police stations/camps in the interior villages in Manpur area. It had increased considerable pressure on you. As per the police officials you had planned this attack as you felt threatened by this pressure. How far this is true?
A: This exploitative government has been implementing many oppressive policies in Manpur area for suppressing the revolutionary movement advancing day by day. This Manpur area situated on the southern part of Rajanandgaon adjacent to Kanker and Durg districts on one side and Gadchiroli district of Maharashtra on other side is an important strategical area. This region has rich mineral wealth and for this many big Indian and foreign companies are eyeing. Particularly in Pallamad area, many big capitalist houses are playing with the livelihood of people opening mines in that area. They have all set to enact the destruction of water, forest and land of this region. But the people organized under our party leadership has become a major obstacle for this path for exploitation. This is the reason for opening of police stations/camps by Raman Singh government. The highly condemnable one-sided firing on people organized in Jhakke-Ghodagaon on 31st May will help in further clearly understanding this conspiracy.
As regards building up pressure on us by opening new police stations/camps, police and administration is trying to cover up the truth of what they are actrually doing to the people of the area by using this propaganda. Take for example the village Madanvada where there are hardly 30-35 houses. There they have opened a base camp with more than 150 policemen. The Adivasi people living there are living like inmates of a concentration camp. People cannot come out of their houses after 6 PM. Even during the harvest season no one can leave their house before 7 AM in the morning. If any one wants attend nature calls he/she must carry the water container as a proof. Relatives from other villages can’t come and stay with them. If any one from the village has gone out the family members will be questioned. There was clear order from the police that anyone found to be violating these rules will have to face firing. Even the marriages in the village had to conclude all the ceremonies before 6 in the evening. Dancing should be stopped, singing should be stopped. During day-time policemen enter every house searching for liquor. They force people to brew and sell the country liquor. You can imagine the state of innocent women in such terror conditions. They threaten the people that if there is an attack by Naxalites, they will hold the villagers as responsible and kill them. What is more terrifying, no one ever knows who is going to be picked up for being a Naxalite or a Naxal sympathizer, taken to the camp, and tortured. This is not the case of Madanvada or Sitagaon or Khadgaon only, we have similar situation in every village in this region where police stations/camps had sprung up every few kiolmetres.
It is not that the police terror is confined to the adivasi villagers only. Few days back, a teacher in Madanvada village was brutally beaten up just because he came to school on his motor cycle as per his routine. All the school buildings in Madanvada, Sitagaon and other villages in Manpur area have come under police occupation and because of this students and teachers are forced to sit on ground out side the school building. With the presence of heavily armed policemen how can the innocent children learn anything? What education can the teachers give? Particularly how can the girl students concentrate in their studies under the piercing looks of the policemen? How can the parents send their children to school under these insecure conditions? There are no answers to these questions. (It is really puzzling to see why this truth is not visible to those who keep on yelling that “education system is being deteriorated because of the Naxalites”). The entire economic, social, educational and cultural life of the villagers is on the verge of complete destruction.
Under these circumstances can any one welcome these police stations/camps instead of opposing them? It is not only our party but the entire people of Manpur area are opposing these camps. If someone wants to call this as our scare let them call it.
Q: Is it true that SP VK Choubey was on your hit list? Is it true that you killed him because he had damaged your urban network?
A: It is true that our PLGA command had targeted SP VK Choubey in a foolproof plan. We have been monitoring his every movement for the past few days. There is nothing like ‘hit list’ but such reactionary officers and the trusted servants of the exploitative ruling classes will naturally become our targets. We have clearly explained this aspect in our press release. In Rajanandgaon district particularly in Churia, Dongagarh, Khairgarh and Manpur areas, Choubey had his hand in planning and execution of every police repressive plan. Along with this as you have mentioned he had an important role in the arresting our town organizers in Raipur- Bhilai, brutally torturing them and putting them in jails by implicating them in many false cases. Particularly he had arrested one of our comrades Sumit, lured him to become approver and arrested many of our comrades through him. In addition to this Choubey and his close subordinates had swallowed Rs.10 lakhs they had seized from Sumit when he was arrested.
VK Choubey is infamous for putting all types of pressure on unemployed youth who were influenced by the revolutionary movement, turning them into informers, enrolling them as agents, getting information regarding our leadership’s movements and making plans for eliminating them. This timid police officer who is shit-scared to confront us in direct battle, had used his agents to poison the food given to our squad members and made plans for murdering them several times. He played the leading role in the recent firing on innocent villagers in Jakke-Ghodagaon on 31st May. This Choubey later camped in Manpur and made efforts to suppress the public anger that had erupted after this incident. Later he forced the doctors treating the injured persons in the district hospital to say that the injuries to the villagers are not due to police firings but due to the firing from naxalites. This was the height of his brutality. That is why our Party had decided to kill this reactionary police officer which was successfully implemented by our PLGA on July 12th.
Q: You are saying VK Choubey is a timid officer while the police machinery is describing him as a bold and courageous officer who had taken the bullets onto his chest. And he had confronted you without fearing for his life.
A: This is again as rubbish as many of their other claims. Firstly when our comrades fired two three rounds injuring his driver, he started fleeing without even turning back. Leave aside the counter firing, he ran for his life and stopped only after reaching Kohakagaon. When our PLGA was ambushing the motorcycle party of policemen at Korkotti, the “brave” SP had jnot gone to their assistance. He ventured to proceed to meet his higher official IG Mukesh Gupta who was camping in Manpur only after our first ambush was almost complete, and that too, only with the help of mine proof vehicle. Even at that time, this ‘courageous’ officer didn’t stop at the dead bodies of his colleagues lying on the road. He speedily drove to the other side of our ambush area. After reaching there these two officers spent considerable time discussing the situation. By that time our first ambush was complete in which 11 policemen were killed and we had seized their weapons. Firing had stopped. These two officers were completely relaxed thinking that our ambush was over. It was only then that they displayed their ‘courage’ by approaching the ambush site with all their reinforcements. Had they any hint that we still stayed in that area it is certain that they wouldn’t have dared to step into the area.
When the SP was hit by bullet, the “courageous” IGP ran and hid inside the mine proof vehicle. After this all the policemen were scared so much that they all ran into the jungle to save their lives. They didn’t reach the police stations till very late in the night. The fact that the police officials were not in a position to give the correct number of their dead men because no one dared to go to the spot after the SP was killed speaks of their valour.
Self-portrayal by the police regarding their heroic and exemplary fight is part of their cheap propaganda campaign which they promote through electronic and print media. The fact is that not only SP Choubey but the entire police force are the armed protectors of this present corrupt and exploiatative society. The corrupt officials like SP Choubey, besides being the trusted dog to defend the system, are also involved in many crimes like amassing lot of wealth through illegal means and black market. It is really amusing to search for ‘heroism’ and ‘courage’ in such corrupt officials. Leaving aside their higher officials almost all the lower level policemen do this job to feed themselves and their family. Those who are fighting against us for their salaries naturally lack the determination to fight us at the cost of their lives. Whereas the red soldiers of our PLGA are fighting with clear political objective, selflessness, and for a just cause of emancipation of the masses from all types of class exploitation. That is why there will always be a difference in the fighting spirit, courage and tenacity in the battle-field between the mercenary forces employed by the exploiters and the Maoists who are fighting selflessly for a just cause. In short, we believe in the truth that the masses are the real heroes. Reactionaries, hired forces and their officers can never become heroes.
Q: According to government and even some political pundits you are having more sophisticated weapons compared to police. You are getting these weapons from external sources. That is why you are having an edge over police forces while the police equipped with inferior arms are not able to counter you.
A: This is again a blatant lie. Just for getting the public opinion in favour of their plans to deploy armed forces in large numbers with ultra-modern weapons and to implement the worst form of repression the ruling classes are writing and speaking without head and tail. This white lie floated by forces who got used to the comforts provided by the state is finding wide circulation because neither the electronic nor print media gives us the space to write or speak our point of view. It is a well-known fact and the police and the political establishment know that the standard weapon in the hands of our guerillas today is a 12 bore gun. The proportion of weapons available to us to the proportion of the people willing to join our forces is always less. As far as the modern weapons we have, we don’t get these from the external sources but from the police and paramilitary forces only. In almost every successful ambush our guerilla forces seize some weapons. For example in the last one year we got about 100 ultra-modern weapons in Dandakaranya alone. They included AK-47, SLR, Insas etc.
It is also not a fact that police are not having modern weapons. Take for example this ambush in Korkotti, we got around 25 automatic rifles. They are definitely not bringing them to give us. Now all the armed forces deployed in our struggle areas are armed with ultra- modern weapons. If the police forces are repeatedly getting blows from our PLGA forces it is not because they don’t have modern weapons. As I told you earlier war can’t be won only with the ultra-modern weapons. Though having ultra-modern weapons is an important aspect of war, that is not the only condition for winning the war. Public support and mass base is the most important aspect. In spite of arming with the most sophisticated and ultra-modern weapons, why the American forces are getting reverses in Iraq and Afghanistan? Why the Israeli Zionist terrorist regime had to bite the dust in the hands of Hizbulla? In the history, how the poor masses of Vietnam forced mighty America to run away from their country? The same reasons are working here also. Our fighters with their country-made guns and other traditional weapons are fighting the state’s superior forces armed with ultra-modern weapons.
Today, the police and paramilitary forces who are deployed in entire Dandakaranya, are acting like foreign occupiers and are carrying out inhuman and unspeakable atrocities on the people. They are carying out mass rapes, murdering the people, carrying out massacres, burning the houses and property, carrying out arson. In one word they have made the region into a veritable hell for the people. The people not only hate these forces but are continuously demanding us to attack them. This is the reason why whenever our PLGA achieves victory in any battle, this news brings great joy to the people and a festive-like atmosphere is created throughout Dandakaranya. This is an example of the widespread and active support our PLGA campaigns are getting from the people.
Q: Apart from the weapons police are not having the modern equipment also. The opposition party Congress is accusing the state government was not able to release the bulletproof jackets as the government refused to pay taxes. What you have to say on this?
A: Possibly the opposition is raising this issue to corner the ruling party. But there is no truth in what you are saying that the police forces are not in possession of sophisticated and ultra-modern equipment. Almost all the policemen killed in this ambush were wearing bulletproof jackets and helmets. In spite of this, our PLGA fighters, displaying the best sense of timing, swiftness and war technique went closest to them and killed them with their flawless aiming. We seized 22 bulletproof jacket and 14 helmets. Possibly this is the first time we got such a large number of bulletproof jackets and helmets. What more proof do you need?
Q: After every ambush, police officers accuse you of attacking from behind as you don’t have the courage to make frontal attack. What you have to say on this?
A: This is a very old and most repeated accusation. Our response to this is that ours is a guerilla war. The fundamental principle in guerilla war is attacking the enemy at a place and time when he is least expecting it. Not only for guerilla war but for any war the fundamental principle is self-preservation and destruction of enemy. We are fighting a strong enemy with lakhs of forces and many other organs at his disposal. Presently we are militarily very weak and inferior to the enemy. But in spite being weak we are the representatives of the majority of the toiling masses of our country. Our enemy, in spite having strong army, is representing the class interests of a handful of exploitative and oppressive rulers. Until our peoples’ war passes through the current phase of self-preservation and reaches a level of equal par with the enemy or surpassing him, guerilla warfare will continue to be the principal form of our warfare. But this must not be construed to mean that our war is immoral or wrong just because we are not fighting face-to-face with the enemy. You might be aware oif the fact that today all modern armies are learning the art and science of guerilla war in order to crush the people’s wars and other insurgencies. And the Jungle Warfare School in Kanker is against the principle of face-to-face war. There, the techniques of attacking us from behind are also taught.
And what about the police officers like Choubey? Do they have the courage to fight us in face-to-face battle? If so, then why has he made so many informers? Why has he adopted such cheap and cruel tactics of killing the people after poisoning their food? Why he has stooped to such low-level of infiltrating coverts into our Party, PLGA and other organizations? Picking up people sleeping in their houses during the night like thieves, killing them in the morning, and concocting the stories of fake encounters–what sort of face-to-face war is this? It is not only about Choubey but every police officer and the entire police system is based on such deception and sheer lies. It is only to downplay our just and heroic activities and to throw mud on us that such accusations are made and a dirty psychological war is unleshed.
Q: You agree that policemen come from poor and exploited families. In the name of peoples’ war you are killing the people from same class for whose emancipation you claim to be fighting for. What is this dilemma?
A: What you are saying is right. The lower level policemen and officers are from poor and middle class families. In recent years Adivasis are also joining the police in large numbers and their numbers have increased. Today exploiting classes, in order to face the challenge to their political supremacy posed from the toiling masses, are using a section of the same toiling masses as cannon-fodder. It has always been like this. The British imperialists who ruled this country for almost 200 years also recruited large numbers of Indian soldiers into their army. Today the biggest enemy of the world people, the American imperialists, also use large number of black (African) soldiers in their invasions. That is why time and again through our pamphlets and other means we had appealed to the common policemen and lower-level officers not to use their guns against us. We are trying through every medium possible to reach them and explain to them that it is unjustifiable for them to aim their guns against the same class of people from whom they hail from.
We are seeing some impact of this propaganda. Some policemen and officers are refusing to work in our areas. They know that working in our areas means aiming the guns at the toiling masses. In some instances some policemen dropped their weapons at the time of ambush. In such occasions our PLGA forces left them unharmed. It is also a principle in Maoist Peoples’ War not to harm the enemy soldiers who surrender dropping their weapons. For example, we had left unharmed three STF jawans at Kudoorghat near Mardapul in May 2007, policewoman Kiran Usendi near Pachangi in Jnauary 2009, 5 SPOs at Banda in June 2008 in South Bastar and many years back in 1996 all the policemen during our raid on Manpur police station as per this principle. We hope that with the advancement of our struggle every policeman and the armed forces will better understand this. It is a fact that they are all under the influence of negative propaganda by the government and their officers. However our continuous effort will be to explain the aim of our revolutionary war and convince the ordinary policemen to refrain from aiming their guns at the toiling masses. We call upon them to aim their guns at the exploitative system and fight shoulder-to-shoulder with our forces in the ongoing peoples’ war. However it will take some time before some concrete progress is visible in this regard.
Q: It is believed that Greyhounds played an important role in destroying the revolutionary movement in Aqndhra Pradesh. And now the central government is constituting CoBRA battalions on the similar lines. Two battalions are going to be stationed in Chattisgarh. Do you think with the deployment of CoBRA battalions will restrain your attacks?
A: We totally disagree with your conclusion that our movement is completely destroyed in Andhra Pradesh. There we had suffered only temporary setback. There are many reasons for it and we had analysed them. Some are political, some are organizational and some military reasons. Greyhounds force was constituted in 1989 and our movement’s temporary setback occurred in 2006. All the attacks by greyhounds were carried out only with the help of informers or covert agents. Our guerilla squads suffered losses because they were surrounded by large number of forces in multiple times and some times more than 100 times. Even then greyhounds is not an invincible force. This was proved by our guerillas near Balimela (Orissa) in last June.
Previously during our historic Nayagarh attack greyhounds didn’t dare to face our comrades. Even with hundreds of weapons greyhounds couldn’t touch our guerillas. Hence we can say with confidence that in the glowing light of our advancing peoples’ war in Dandakaranya, the myth of the invincibility of greyhounds or CoBRA battalions will be shattered. The plundering ruling classes have their confidence in criminal and murderous gangs like CoBRAs, Naga, Mizo battalions, Greyhounds etc., and in contrast we have confidence on the people. Let us leave the result it to the history.
Q: Are they going to deploy army as well?
A: Yes. Though army is not directly deployed so far, its role is significant. This is likely to increase in the near future. The jungle warfare school set up in Kanker is managed directly by the army officers. They are going to open a regional office in Bilaspur. In search and combing operations army helicopters are being used. The official visits of senior army officers have been increased. All these aspects point to the fact that the army is making all the preparations for crushing our movement. Those who feel that our revolutionary struggle will be crushed with the deployment of army should look at the struggles in Kashmir and North Eastern states. I repeat again the determining force is the masses. Today the people and their people’s army here are directly confronting the CRPF, Naga-Mizo forces, SSB, STF and other forces. Tomorrow they will learn to fight the CoBRA forces and also the Indian army.
Q: After this attack Congress party has demanded for president’s rule in the state. They accused that BJP government has failed in controlling the Naxalism. There was an uproar in the assembly. How do you look at this?
A: First of all let me tell you one thing Naxalism is not a problem but a solution. It is such a solution that it can resolve all the problems persisting in the current society because of the corrupt and oppressive system. This is the only solution for all the problems as people have tried all the other alternatives. As for the conflict between the Congress and BJP over Naxalism is concerned, there is no conflict between them on the problems of the people or the interests of the people. Both parties want the quick destruction of the movement because both parties are representing the comprador big bourgeoisie and big zamindar classes. Such parties, just to give legitimacy to their sitting in opposition, once in a while raise the people’s issues so that they win the trust of the people and hope to come back to power. But it seems that Congress party in Chhattisgarh had left even this tradition. It is now in favour of crushing our movement with merciless brute power. Its alliance is in power at the center. Their home minister P Chidambaram is also saying the same thing. Working as an agent to the American imperialists, declaring our party as a terrorist organization, and so on are all part of this policy.
Till some time back they have been repeatedly telling that Naxalism was social problem and its solution lies in the development. But now their language has been changed and say: “Naxalism had lost its path and it has become the biggest stumbling block for the development. Now development is possible only through the complete crushing of Naxalism using armed power.” In totality we can say that there is no difference between Congress and BJP with regard to the implementation of pro-imperialist policies and suppression of revolutionary movement. If one is Nagnath the other is Sampnath. People are watching their roles. At the time of Singaram and Tongapal massacre Congress was confined to newspaper statements while condemning them. It is nothing but lip sympathy. It didn’t demand the arrest of culprits and neither did it organize any protest against them. This is because their protest lacked sincerity. But when 30 policemen were killed in the Manpur incident they are raising a hue and cry. Both people and the lower-level activists of their own party got good opportunity for understanding the class character of Congress party.
Q: Few months back your people killed an Adivasi leader of BJP in this area. And now you have carried out a big attack on policemen. The vehicles engaged in road construction are burnt on regular basis. Why these violent activities?
A: BJP leader Darbar Singh was sowing the seeds of fundamentalism in this area. He was completely engaged in implementing the Sangh Parivar’s agenda in this area. It was a big conspiracy and he had the protection of Raman Singh. We have recently seen in Kandhamal (Orissa) what is the meaning of spreading Hindu fundamentalism in an Adivasi area and what danger it can cause. Our party can’t tolerate religious chauvinism and fundamentalism. One must see his killing from this point of view.
As far as the road construction is concerned, as more and more police stations/camps are opened in interior villages, the movement of forces is also increased and also the construction of roads become faster. Central government had allocated 7300 Crores exclusively for the construction of roads in our areas. The intention is very clear: construction of roads is a precondition for eliminating naxalites. The majority villages have severe scarcity of drinking water. Particularly this summer it was worst. There was complete drought in this area. There is no provision of irrigation for agriculture. Farmers don’t have bullocks and even if they have they don’t have fodder to feed them. They don’t have seeds to sow and fertilizers to their crops. There are no teachers in their schools and not every village has a school. There are no facilities in the hospitals and people die even with simple ailments. The government has turned away its face on all these problems. They are singing the songs saying that development will flow with the road construction and setting up of police stations/camps. The important objective of these roads is transportation of mineral wealth out of this region and to facilitate the movement of security forces. Since both these are against the peoples’ interest, we oppose it.
Q: We are seeing a change in your attacks in the recent times. Take the incidents of your attacks, the one in Durg district last year and in the current the one in Risgaon of Dhamtari, the one in Thongapal in Bastar, here in Manpur and just now near Barasur…. you are attacking at areas where you don’t have much presence or the areas where there was no history of such incidents. According to the government sources you are doing this only to divert the police attention so that police can’t put pressure on you in the interior areas. What is your comment on this?
A: It is true that our revolutionary movement is continuously expanding. Taking the peoples’ war to every corner of the country and creating base areas in vast rural areas is our political task. But wherever our movement is expanding, government is deploying huge forces in that area and is ready with the plans of widespread repression. It means crushing our movement even before it takes roots in to the people. For this they are spreading terror in people. It was like this since the beginning. When we expanded to North Bastar or to Balaghat we had to advance the movement facing the severe repression. In this process many of our comrades became martyrs. Now the government is repeating the same thing in areas like Dhamtari. Two and half years back they have arrested our senior comrade Marakam Gopanna and three other comrades, implicated them in false cases and put them in jail. Many other comrades and general people are portrayed as naxalites with price on their heads and imprisoned. They are building new police stations/camps. All this was going on Manpur also. In totality government has intensified its efforts to contain the expansion of our movement. But history has its own laws. Based on these laws we developed our strategy and tactics to defeat the police repression and to expand and advance our movement.
As far as diverting the police attention is concerned, it is the basic rule of guerilla war that we will not enter into war whenever and wherever enemy wants us, contrarily we will fight the war at our convenience, on our own terms and only when we are assured of victory. There is nothing unnatural about this.
Q: Final question, how long this cycle of violence-counter violence will continue? Is there any peaceful resolution for this?
A: It is not we, but the exploitative ruling classes who had started this violence. This society which is based on inequality, discrimination and exploitation is the mother of all this violence. According to the recently issued report 77 percent of the people in the country (about 83.5 crore people) are forced to live on just 20 rupees per day. On the other hand the gap between the rich and poor is increased so much that the wealth of just one lakh families is about 1,75,000 crores which is little less than our GDP. If it is not violence then what is it? Starvation is violence. Poverty is violence. Price rice is violence. Unemployment is violence. Displacement is violence. New economic policies are violence. SEZs are violence. The suicides of farmers is violence. Contract system is violence. Taking work from labourers for 12 hours a day is violence. Denial of minimum wages is violence. Corruption is violence. And even the callousness of government is also violence.
Only to end this violence we have opted for this just violence. The exploitative ruling classes i.e the imperialists, comprador big bourgeoisie and the big feudal lords with all their armed forces are continuing this endless violence on the toiling masses only to continue their oppressive rule. They are flowing the rivers with the blood of toiling masses. It is not only against the Naxalites, it has become their routine to apply lathis and bullets against every section of people who are agitating against their problems. There are many examples of this state violence carried out for serving the interests of big capitalists like for Tatas in Kalingnagar(Orissa) and Singur (West Bengal), for Salem company in Nandigram (West Bengal), for Jindal company in Lalgarh (West Bengal), the brutal violence carried out in the name Salwa Judum in Chattisgarh for Tata, Essar companies and many more. Our party and our peoples’ army (PLGA) are actively resisting this violence wherever we are present. From peoples’ point of view this is essential and fully justified.
As I told you in the beginning, this is not started by us but we are the ones who are going to end this. Only revolutionary struggles with large scale mass participation can put an end to this violence.
Q: Finally what is your message for the people in plain areas of Chhattisgarh?
A: We want to send this message to all sections of people that there is a strong revolutionary movement with huge potential in Chattisagarh. Our revolutionary movement for the past 29 years had brought many changes in the lives of people. Fighting against the forest department, revenue department, paper mill factory owners, tendu leaves contractor, police and various mafias the people of Chattisgarh have registered many victories. The various oppressive campaigns carried out by the state to suppress these struggles were successfully resisted and defeated by the masses under the leadership of our party and PLGA. From every suppressive campaign people emerged more strongly and our peoples’ army became stronger.
Not only this people started building their own peoples’ power organs (Janatan Sarkar). Masses started taking initiative for their development. People have achieved remarkable progress in the fields, health, agriculture, education and other areas. All this happened in the midst of fierce battles with enemy forces. In one word, today the struggle of Dandakaranya is standing out like an example and role model to be emulated by the revolutionary people of our country.
But the challenges are not less. Central and State governments are standing on one foot to suppress this movement. They are putting all their efforts. Entire Dandakaranya has turned into forest of Khakhi forces. Thousands of armed forces are deployed. Claims are being made that the movement will be completely suppressed in one year or so at the most. They are talking about encircling the Maad area and eliminate the naxalites. From all these talks what becomes clear is that the people of Chattisgarh are going to face unspeakable violence in the coming days. Plans are being hatched for forcefully dislocating the people and shifting them to refugee camps in the lines of Salwa Judum. For this army’s help is being sought. Though army is not directly present the whole operation, it is a military operation.
You all must raise your voice against this. Not only raising your voice you have to open many struggle fronts in support of the revolutionary movement. The people of Lagarh have placed a model before us. The heroic Lalgarh people with their strong mass base have added a new page in the Indian history of peoples’ struggles. There is huge pile of problems on all the sides of Chhattisgarh. Displacement is burning problem which is burning in the hearts of people from Kunta area to Sarguja area passing through Raipur. Raman Singh government is moving very fast to hand over the rich natural resources to big capitalists and MNCs. Immediately after returning to power it has restructured the State electricity board playing with the lives of 17000 employees. The problems of revenue employees and teachers are still unresolved. Because of the anti- people policies of centre and state governments the prices have gone so high that it became difficult for the ordinary people to buy even rice and dal. This is when the government is claiming the whole-sale price index has reached the lowest in the last 30 years. Not only workers and peasants every section of the society is in problems. There is a need to coordinate all these struggles with revolutionary struggles as it is only the revolutionary struggle that can resolve all these problems.
Hence please join and stand by the revolutionary movement under our party’s leadership. Oppose all the efforts of the government and ruling classes to suppress our movement. Initiate struggles against the anti-people policies of government at every possible place. Expose the government’s lies and stand by the truth.