Revolution in South Asia

An Internationalist Info Project

Indian Government Continues Genocidal Operations in Orissa

Posted by redpines on March 14, 2011

The Indian government continues to launch new, brutal offenses against the CPI(Maoist) and the tribal communities who support it. These are part of the government’s larger and more comprehensive Operation Green Hunt . The presentation of these operations in the media is stunning in its own right. Note the dehumanizing language of ethnic cleansing in the following piece–Maoists are said to be “infesting” areas and need to be “combed” out like insects. The following piece from India Express is indicative of the bourgeois press’s deep complicity with the ruthless Indian government. At the same time, it suggests the CPI (Maoist) challenge to the state continues to grow stronger.

Combing operation to resume in Andhra-Orissa border

The combing operations in Maoist-infested areas that were stopped last month soon after the abduction of Malkangiri district collector R Vineel Krishna is likely to be resumed in Andhra-Orissa border.

The government in the 14-point demand negotiated by a 3-member team of interlocutors last month had said that there would be no “coercive action by security forces as long as Maoists did not indulge in unlawful activities”. But with Krishna and junior engineer free from the clutches of Maoists and the government having kept its promise of releasing 5 Maoists including that Ganti Prasadam, associate of CPI(Maoist) Andhra-Orissa Border Special Zonal Committee chief Ramakrishna, decks are being cleared to launch vigorous combing operations in Malkangiri and Koraput districts.

Senior police officials said a meeting is now underway in Bhubaneswar to decide on a joint combing operation of BSF, CRPF and the Orissa’s specialised anti-Maoist force, Special Operations Group. “In reality, there was no official order from the top to stop combing operations. We were informally asked to hold fire till the collector was released. Besides, there was no ceasefire with the Maoists as is being interpreted. The State did not commit anything to the interlocutors,” said a senior police in the Malkangiri-Koraput zone. Incidentally, Andhra Pradesh police never stopped its combing operation on Andhra borders during the collector abduction crisis, confirmed Shashidhar Reddy of Andhra Pradesh Special Intelligence Bureau.

The state’s decision to resume combing operation seems to have come after the union home minister P Chidambaram expressed his unhappiness over the way Naveen acceded to Maoists’ demands. Officials in MHA were upset that Orissa’s capitualtion before the Maoists undid the military success of the state police and the central paramilitary forces in Maoist zones. Soon after Krishna’s abduction, the chief secretary announced stopping of combing operation in the State which resulted in armed Maoist cadres roaming freely before police stations in Malkangiri. “We were twiddling our thumbs in frustration as Maoists cocked a snook at us. It did demoralise police rank and file,” said a SP in a Maoist-affected district.

The frustration of the Orissa police also stemmed from the fact that they were largely successful in wresting control of Narayanpatna block in Koraput district which had almost become a liberated zone after the 2009 assembly polls much like Lalgarh in West Bengal. Orissa’s anti-Maoist wings such as SOG, DVF and D-CAT assisted by the central paramilitary forces drove the Maoists up against the wall. In 2010, there were a total of 108 killings – including 62 civilians, 25 Maoists and 21 police personnel in 44 incidents of killing as against 81 killings – 36 civilians, 32 police personnel and 13 Maoists in 37 incidents of killing in 2009. “The Maoists desperation was evident from the increased civilian killings,” the cop said. As a result, Ramakrishna, who had stationed himself at Narayanpatna, was forced to move to Malkangiri on Orissa-Andhra border during last 3-4 months.

To underscore the state’s seriousness in fighting Maoist activities, police have already started combing operations in Kandhamal district. Though the Maoists under Orissa State Organising Committee today called an Orissa bandh, its effects were mostly limited to Daringibadi and Kotagarh blocks of the districts. With the arrest of Sahatrughna Biswal, a member of Orissa State Organising Committee of CPI(Maoist) and deputy of OSOC secretary Sabyasachi Panda , from Bargarh district on March 5, senior police officials say resuming combing operation in the liberated zone of Andhra-Orissa border would lead to consolidations of earlier gains of the state police. As the State government is now planning to build a 900 metre-long bridge over Gurupriya river which would connect the mainland in Malkangiri to the 151 villages in cut-off areas of Kudumulgumma block of the district, combing operationsin cut-off area is essential for instilling confidence in the mind of the bridge contractor.

Besides, the State government is now planning to exploit the deep differences among the Oriya cadres and Telugu cadres in various divisions operation in places like Kandhamal, Keonjhar and Jajpur. “The Oriya cadres feel there is no upward mobility for them and so they are leaving the organisation. We would surely take advantage of the situation,” said Sanjib Marik, Addl DG(anti-Maoist operations) of Orissa police.

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