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Archive for March 12th, 2010

Indian Media Unearths Alleged “Maoist Operation” in Delhi

Posted by Ka Frank on March 12, 2010

Pro-government newspapers are claiming that Maoist leader Kobad Ghandy has identified professors, student groups and rights organisations as part of a sinister "Maoist operation" in Delhi.

This article appeared in Tehelka.

The Maoists and Us

Could the cry of “Maoist terrorists” be the Congress led UPA governmet’s equivalent of the cry of “Islamic terrorists” during the BJP led NDA government? — asks PK Vijayan, Assistant Professor of English, Hindu College, Delhi University

On 20th February, the Hindustan Times, reporting on the charge sheet produced by the Delhi Police against Kobad Ghandy, stated that Ghandy was alleged to have been in direct contact with GN Saibaba, a professor in Delhi University, and who is alleged to be in control of the CPI (Maoist)’s tactical counter offensive against Operation Greenhunt.

Reporting on the same charge sheet, on the same date, the Times of India reported the investigators’ claim that civil rights groups like the PUDR and PUCL were actively helping the Maoists to spread their base; while Mail Today stated that there was an active Maoist operation amongst Delhi University students, specifically identifying the Democratic Students Union (DSU).

Elaborating on this same charge sheet report the next day, the HT adds that a prominent research scholar and a human rights activist have been specifically identified by Ghandy as Maoist leaders in the capital, although they are not named by the newspaper. Interestingly, each of these details appears only in the particular newspaper mentioned, and not in any of the other papers: like the blind men and the elephant, it is as if each has ‘found’ something unique in the charge sheet, that characterises the contents of that document – but unlike the blind men in the story, who after all are each seeking to describe the same beast but end up describing only the part that they sense, these newspapers presumably all have access to the same ‘beast’ in its entirety (i.e., the charge sheet), but have chosen to report only on specific – but different – aspects of the extensive Maoist network that it alleges exists in Delhi. What, we may ask, is going on?

Very simply, if each newspaper reports on any one branch of this alleged Maoist network, each will have apparently reported something unique; further, each newspaper’s readership will have been made aware of one crucial way in which the Maoist ‘menace’ is apparently already in their neighbourhood, and spreading like a virus.

But the total effect of all the reports is the imaging of a hydra, a Ravana, a many-headed monster conceived in the savage and distant tribal terrains of Jharkhand, Chhatisgarh and Orissa, and that is now slouching towards the safe cosmopolitan world of the NCR to be born. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in India News | 1 Comment »

West Bengal: Police Fail to Come Up With Evidence to Back Up Charges against Chhatradhar Mahato

Posted by Ka Frank on March 12, 2010

This article appeared in India Today on March 9, 2010.

Lalgarh leader gets bail in 26 cases

Kolkata: Six months after Maoist-backed People’s Committee Against Police Atrocities (PCAPA) leader Chhatradhar Mahato was arrested by the West Bengal Police, he has got bail in 26 of the 29 cases against him.

He was arrested on September 26 during an agitation against police atrocities in Lalgargh and was booked under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA). After framing charges, including murder, arson and threat to national security against him, the police failed to back the charges with evidence.

Defence counsel Kaushik Sinha said Mahato had managed to get bail in 13 cases on December 15. The additional chief judicial magistrate of Jhargram court refused to take note of the chargesheet submitted in a case pertaining to sedition on technical grounds. “We managed to secure bail for him in 13 other cases when he was produced in court recently. His bail in most of the cases proved he was framed by the police. The court discharged him in 26 cases,” Sinha said.

Association for Protection of Democratic Rights leader Sujato Bhadra said: “Out of 29 cases against Mahato, only three – including the UAPA charge – is pending against him. We are planning to move high court in the three remaining cases.” It is very unfortunate that as he kept getting bail in cases, the investigators slapped additional charges against him to keep him in custody,”he added. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in India News | 1 Comment »