RESIST FASCIST TERROR IN WB BY TMC-MAOIST-POLICE-MEDIA NEXUS

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Monday, June 28, 2010

FASCISM OF OUR TIMES: WE MUST LEARN FROM HISTORY

Sun, 2010-05-30 10:15 Roshan Kishore

“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.” - Joseph Goebbels (Reich Minister of Propaganda in Nazi Germany from 1933 to 1945).

Roshan Kishore writes on the Trinamul Congress' volte face on the Sardiha Rail Tragedy in West Bengal.

Goebbels is perhaps the second most notorious person after Hitler when one recounts the horrors of Fascism. The quote given above captures the essence of how dangerous fascistic designs can be. It was through his propaganda that he psychologically prepared the German population for the aggressive war and annihilation of civilian population during the Nazi rule. “Goebbelsian Propaganda” today has become a synonym for politically motivated false campaigns.

Today, in a Press Conference in Kolkata, Mamata Banerjee blamed the CPI (M) for the tragic train accident that has so far claimed 120 lives. Tomorrow, the state of West Bengal will go to polls for 81 local bodies including the Kolkata Municipal Corporation. It is an easy guess why such accusations have been made on the eve of an election. This act of Mamata is perhaps the nadir of unprincipled fascistic anti-left politics, which the Trinamul currently represents in the state. The people of West Bengal and those outside who closely follow the state politics are not unknown to the degenerate acts that the Trinamul has indulged in to malign the Left Front. One of the most infamous of these was the false charge that Champala Sardar, a Trinamul candidate in the 1998 panchayat elections was raped by CPI (M) cadres. The propaganda was used throughout the election campaign. Later the court acquitted all the accused and ruled that the charges were cooked up. Champala was abandoned by the TMC later.

To come back to the issue at hand let us look at some facts:

· Posters of the Maoist backed People’s Committee Against Police Atrocities (PCAPA) were found at the derailment site, which claimed responsibility for the attack.

· The Maoists and the PCAPA have targeted Railway installations and trains in the past as well.

· On 22 May, 2010 Maoists opened fire on Tatanagar bound Steel Express at Banstala station injuring two people.

· On May 20, 2010 at least 15 diesel tankers caught fire when the Maoists targeted the tankers on the goods train between Dighwara and Pipra railway stations in Bihar.

· On 27 October, 2009 the PCAPA “hijacked” the Delhi bound Rajdhani Express near Banstala station.

· On April 23, 2009 Maoists blew up the Chiyanki railway station in Palamau district in Jharkhand. They also bombed the outer cabin of the railway station.

· On September 9, 2002 130 people died when the Delhi bound Rajdhani Express fell of a bridge near Rafigunj railway station in Bihar. The accident was most probably an act of sabotage by Maoists

· Yesterday, Mamata herself had pointed towards the involvement of Maoists in the accident. Her position changed after a press release was sent in the name of CPI (Maoist) denying their role in the accident. It appears that the Trinamul Leader articulates her political positions around those of the CPI (Maoist).

· The PCAPA, a frontal organization of the CPI (Maoist) in the Lalgarh region has close ties with Mamata and her party. Chatradhar Mahato, the leader of the front, who masterminded the killings of CPI (M) activists in the area during the siege of the area last year, is a former activist of the Trinamul Congress. Mamata has even shared stage with him.

· Maoists have openly admitted supporting the Trinamul during the violence in Nandigram before and after the tragic incident of March 14 with weapons and also training the Trinamul cadres. Maoist leader Kishanji alias Koteswer Rao has given interviews supporting Mamata’s bid as the next Chief Minister of West Bengal.

· Mamata has also reciprocated by making all efforts to block any political consensus against the Maoist killings in West Bengal. She has left no stone unturned to end the joint operations of the West Bengal Police and the Central Paramilitary Forces, demanding the withdrawal of the latter. She has gone on record saying there are no Maoist activities in West Bengal.


The facts given above clearly point towards two things:

a. The railways have always been a soft target for the Maoists.

b. There is clear evidence that Mamata Banerjee is hand in glove with the Maoists in West Bengal to serve her own petty political ends by grabbing power even at the cost of precious human lives.

It is also a fact that Railway Security has gone to the docks under the tenure of Mamata Banerjee. The required precautionary measures, which should have been taken to ensure safety of trains running through Maoist affected areas like plying pilot engines before trains pass through the Maoist affected areas were also not done in the case of the ill-fated train which derailed. But rather than doing some self-introspection and taking corrective measures, the Railway Minister has chosen to attack the CPI (M) for the attack.

Mamata’s fascistic anti-left politics and her pathological hatred towards the Left are well known. The reign of terror which has been unleashed in Bengal by the TMC-Maoist alliance since the 2009 Lok Sabha elections can only be compared to the semi-fascist Congshal terror of the 1970s. An attempt is being made by the Trinamul to put the entire state in a state of anarchy and chaos and Mamata is only ensuring the implementation of such violent fascistic designs. The recent campaign in the minority areas of Kolkata by her that the CPI (M) is planning to fan Hindu-Muslim riots in the city was another such attempt.

The country today is facing the problem of dealing with Maoist violence. Democratic forces have always opposed the diabolic vicious cycle of security centric approach of the state and anarchic Maoist violence and killings. A coordinated, matured and balanced political cum administrative approach, addressing the socio-economic issues of the people is the only solution to this problem. But a political consensus is the first pre-requisite for the success of any such strategy.

The situation in West Bengal is discernibly different from the rest of the Maoist affected states. The Trinamul is in a tacit alliance with the Maoists for the common cause of weakening the Left. Unfortunately the mainstream media, central government and intellectuals of some shades have refused to acknowledge this fact of Trinamul-Maoist entente and only portrayed this issue as some shadow boxing between the Left Front and the Trinamul in their own ways. Anarchic and illegal activities of Maoist fronts like the PCAPA were also given a soft go initially because they were furnishing the task of harming the CPI (M) which still has a formidable base among the tribal population in the three Maoist affected districts of West Midnapore, Purulia and Bankura.

It is very important that one calls a spade a spade. Or one is reminded of the harsh reality by heart rendering tragedies like the one that happened yesterday. Mamata Banerjee’s somersault from blaming the Maoists to now blaming the CPI (M) for the train tragedy has made it clear that there is still some advantages she plans to draw from her alliance with the Maoists against the Left Front. And she is not going to be deterred even if 120 dead passengers perish as cannon fodder. Things can be kept in control or worst manipulated by Goebbelsian propaganda by her party and the Sushil Samaj.

It is a wake up call for all those who cherish democracy when this year, the world is celebrating 65 years of the victory against fascism. What is going on in West Bengal today is not of concern solely for those who owe allegiance to the CPI (M) alone. It is democracy which is being butchered. It is Fascism which is raising its head. And precisely for these reasons if these nefarious designs were to succeed, the repercussions would also not be for only a particular political formation. People in general will suffer and the worst sufferers would be the most downtrodden under such a fascistic political project. All of us who value democracy must unequivocally condemn such acts of Maoist terror, Goebbelsian propaganda and false accusations of a power hungry party like Trinamul. Any attempts to settle political scores for narrow sectarian gains or adopting either a cynical approach terming it political bickering or depicting messianic moralism will only create confusion and ultimately weaken the struggle against this dangerous anti-people alliance of fascistic and anarchic forces.

In this context, it is worth remembering what Martin Niemöller wrote about the inactivity of German intellectuals following the Nazi rise to power.

"They came first for the Communists,

and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist.

Then they came for the Jews,

and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew.

Then they came for the trade unionists,

and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist.

Then they came for me and by that time no one was left to speak up."

Courtesy: www.pragoti.org

CITU DEMONSTRATION AGAINST PETRO PRICE HIKE

CITU activists under the leadership of its senior leader and Vice President MK Pandhe held a protest demonstration and burned the effigy of the UPA II government at the busy ITO centre in New Delhi against the steep increase in the prices of petrol, diesel and cooking gas and not even sparing kerosene. Several office bearers of CITU including Swadesh Dev Roye, Dipankar Mukherjee, Hemalata, Kashmir Singh Thakur, Shdha Bhaskar and S Punyavathi, working committee members including AR Sindhu, Amitava Guha and large number of CITU members from Delhi participated in the demonstrations.

Addressing the gathering, Pandhe severely condemned the insensitive attitude of the UPAII government towards the sufferings of the common people. In stead of controlling the rising prices, the UPA II government has increased the prices of petrol, diesel, LPG and kerosene which would further increase the prices. He also criticised the decision of the government to link the prices of petroleum prices to international prices. He warned that this would further result in the price rise. Pandhe demanded the government to immediately withdraw the hike and also the decision to link the prices of petroleum products to international prices. He told that such demonstrations were being held all over the country and if the government did not withdraw its decision, CITU, along with all the other trade unions would intensify the struggle.

FORWARD BLOCK LEADER BRUTALLY MURDERED BY MAOIST BUTCHERS IN PURULIA OF WEST BENGAL


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EVEN ELDERLY WOMAN OF 80 YEARS NOT SPARED BY THE BELOVED SOLIDERS OF MEDHA PATKAR, ARUNDHATI ROY, MAHASWETA DEVI AND MAMATA BANERJEE

Bankura (West Bengal), June 26 (ANI): Suspected Maoists torched a house killing an 80-year-old woman and her elderly daughter in Baghdubi village in West Bengal's Bankura district on Friday.

According to villagers, the Maoists had come to target CPI-M leader Nabin Hembram, who was on their hit list, and ended up burning the house.

Their neighbours immediately informed Nabin Hembrum, who then lodged a complaint alleging that Maoists along with Trinamool Congress and Jharkhand Party cadres have torched his house killing his mother and sister."Not only Maoist did this. Trinamool Congress and Jharkhand party also responsible for this incident," said Gobin Hembrem, the brother of Nabin.

The Maoists had been hunting for Nabin since the CRPF shot dead two squad members on December 15, 2006.The Maoists had shot dead his younger brother Kalipada Hembram in December 2009, following which the family had shifted to Khatra town.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

STRONGLY OPPOSE THIS CRUEL BLOW - LEFT PARTIES ON HIKE OF PRICES OF PETROL ETC.


Date: 25 June 2010

The four Left parties – Communist Party of India (Marxist), Communist Party of India, All India Forward Bloc and Revolutionary Socialist Party – have issued the following statement:

The decision of the UPA government to inflict a steep rise in the prices of petrol, diesel, kerosene oil and cooking gas is a cruel blow against the people who are already suffering due to the runaway increase in the prices of food and essential commodities. The price of petrol has gone up by Rs. 3.50 per litre, diesel by Rs. 2 per litre, kerosene oil by Rs. 3 per litre and cooking gas by Rs. 35 per cylinder.
This callous decision of the government has come at a time when the food inflation rate is around 17 per cent and the general inflation rate has reached double digits. India has the dubious distinction of having the highest rate of consumer price inflation in the world.

The UPA government has decided to deregulate the price of petrol and leave it to the market to determine. Going by the Kirit Parikh Report, the government is going to decontrol prices of all petroleum products, including diesel. This is going to prove disastrous for the economy and the country.

The government is giving false arguments to justify these measures. The prices of petrol and diesel were increased by Rs. 3 per litre only three months ago at the time of the Union Budget. International oil prices have not risen substantially in this period. Neither is the government prepared to rationalize the taxation structure on petroleum products which is adding to a price of petrol and diesel in a large measure.

It is a myth that such a step is being taken to protect the public sector companies from under-recoveries. The so-called under-recoveries are entirely based on notional prices calculated without any reference to the actual cost of production. In fact, the deregulation is only to help private companies who withdrew from the market because of the government price controls. Now they will be free to enter the market to make profits.

By deregulating petrol prices, the government has opened the way for continuous increases in the prices of petrol. By increasing the price of diesel and kerosene oil, the farmers and the poorer sections are going to be badly hit. The LPG increase will further burden the middle classes.

The Congress-led government has shown its callous and anti-people character by these measures.

The Left parties demand the immediate scrapping of the price increases. They call upon all their units to jointly launch protests against these hikes.

EVEN 80 YEAR OLD MOTHER OF A CPI (M) LEADER BURNT TO DEATH BY MAOIST BUTCHERS


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PICTURE OF KOLKATA ON 26-06-2010 BEING THE DAY OF OF TRANSPORT STRIKE CALLED BY CITUE

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

BHOPAL GAS TRAGEDY: GROUP OF MINISTERS' RECOMMENDATIONS: NOT GOOD ENOUGH – CPI (M)

22 June 2010

The Group of Ministers constituted to look into the measures to be taken on the Bhopal gas leak accident has finalized its recommendations. Some of the steps suggested such as the curative petition against the order of the Supreme Court of March 1997, the restarting of the unit of the Indian Council of Medical Research and the takeover of the Bhopal Memorial Hospital Trust are welcome.

However, there are two serious problems regarding the recommendations. Firstly, the compensation package offered is based on flawed estimation of deaths and injuries and the amount of compensation offered remains meager. Secondly, there is no serious effort to make the Dow Chemical Company, which took over the Union Carbide, liable for the damages and compensation. The entire expenses for the remediation and environmental clean up at the Bhopal factory site should be borne by the Dow Chemical Company.

The Dow Chemical has invested and set-up a number of enterprises in India. It is on record that the Indian government has promoted such investments. Surely, the government can take a firm stand asking the Dow Chemical to pay up, failing which the company can be blacklisted and measures taken against it. It is not enough to pursue the long pending case in a court in Madhya Pradesh.

In view of the vital issues of providing justice and adequate compensation to the victims of the Bhopal gas tragedy and the implementation of the “polluter pays principle” in full, the government should call a meeting of all political parties and representatives of the gas victims to discuss the recommendations of the GoM before the Union Cabinet takes a decision.

Courtesy: http://www.cpim.org/

33 YEARS OF LEFT FRONT GOVT: Defend the Gains of the Working People - Prakash Karat

THE completion of 33 years of the Left Front government in West Bengal on June 21 is a historic landmark. No other state government led by other political parties have such a record both in terms of longevity and in the implementation of policies which have benefited the people. This unique record is sought to be overshadowed by the electoral reverses suffered by the CPI(M) and the Left Front in the past one year – from the Lok Sabha elections up to the 81 municipal corporation polls.

This situation is being utilised to negate all the achievements and work done by the Left Front government in the past three decades. A vitriolic propaganda is on to depict West Bengal as a state which has “suffocated” under “Red rule”; that West Bengal has been converted into a desert devoid of any worthwhile development. That such propaganda is being made by the ruling classes and the corporate media should not surprise one because the entire record of the Left Front government has been to push through policies which have been not in the interests of the bourgeois-landlord classes of our country.

No other state has implemented land reforms to the extent that West Bengal has. One-fifth of the total land distributed as surplus land in the country has been in West Bengal alone. No other state has ensured that agricultural development benefits the peasantry and not a narrow strata of landlords and rich peasants. The institutionalisation of the panchayat system opened up the way for the rural toiling masses to have a say in their local affairs. The prolonged rule of the Left Front has created a stable secular atmosphere. The exercise of democratic rights by various sections of the working people is an inherent feature of the political system. There is no doubt that the three decades of Left Front government have transformed West Bengal for the better.

This does not mean that the Left Front government has had a smooth path of advance. Especially after the change in the phase of capitalist development at the all-India level marked by the introduction of neo-liberal policies in the 1990s, the difficulties in pursuing pro-people policies became evident. The limitations of the powers and resources of the state government posed obstacles to pursuing alternative policies. The CPI(M) and the Left Front, which have been the only consistent force against the neo-liberal policies and the growing collaboration with imperialism, were bound to come under attack.

For the ruling classes and imperialism, the continued existence of a Left Front government was disagreeable. The role of the CPI(M) and the Left after the 2004 Lok Sabha elections in national politics highlighted this aspect. Weakening of the CPI(M) and the Left required the isolation of the Left Front government.

Within West Bengal, the class struggle had not ever abated during the long tenure of the Left Front government. Under the impact of the new phase of capitalist development, there have been changes in class relations in the countryside and urban areas. New contradictions and problems emerged within the ambit of the impact of the policies pursued by the Left Front government. It is necessary to make a deeper analysis and understand the forces at play which have had its impact on the political situation in the state.

POLITICAL FACTS

The nature of the opposition to the CPI (M) and the Left Front reveals certain political facts. The rightwing opposition forces are often adopting Left postures to cover-up their virulent anti-Communism. This arises from the people’s consciousness who will not mobilise around a rightwing/reactionary platform. We saw such a phenomenon in Kerala too decades earlier when the Congress-led anti-Communist alliance had to mouth radical slogans and rhetoric. Utilising some of the cracks which developed in the popular support for the CPI (M), the rightwing opposition has mounted an all out offensive by mobilising all the anti-Communist and divisive forces.

The post-Lok Sabha election period has seen attacks on the CPI(M) cadres with more than 245 killed in the past one year. Thousands of people have been rendered homeless. There have been evictions of peasants and bargadars and forcible occupation of Party and mass organisation offices and arson attacks on houses. Such attacks revealed the true nature of the political forces ranged against the Left Front. It portends a class attack which will take place against not only the CPI(M) and the Left but against the common people and the gains that they have achieved. The aim of the Trinamul-Congress combine of displacing the Left Front government to end the so-called “Red misrule” is actually meant to bring about a counter transformation. A `pariborthon’ which would lead to establishing the rule of the dominant classes and vested interests in the rural areas and under the cover of petty bourgeois radical demagogy, a free run for neo-liberal policies.

The crucial questions will be:


· Can such forces be allowed to rollback the relations in land which favour the poor peasants and the rural poor? Can the edifice built on land reforms be eroded?

· Can the opportunist bourgeois politics of instigating communal divisions and politicking based on that be allowed to come back in West Bengal? Already we saw how the Trinamul Congress leader had sought to stoke fears about communal violence erupting after the municipal polls. The lasting achievement of communal peace in West Bengal cannot be sacrificed for the narrow interest of anti-Communism.

What the anti-Communist combine seeks to usher in is a narrow form of identity politics which seeks to fan ethnic, religious and caste identities. Such politics is resorted to, to erode the solidarity of the working people and will have its regressive effects on society.

NEGATIVE FEATURES

The CPI (M) is conscious that the long years of continuous Left Front government have, despite its enormous achievements, also engendered some negative features. It is a part of the basic understanding of the Party that running the state government is not the exercise of State power. The bureaucracy, the police and other institutions of the State have not been touched by any basic changes. Working in such a system, in government, has its effects on the Party and its organisation. Though efforts were made continuously to limit the corrosive effects of this association.

The recent electoral results show that some sections of the people have been alienated. This cannot be attributed to the functioning of the Left Front government alone. The causes of such alienation lie in the political sphere and also in the organisational shortcomings and weaknesses of the Party. The steps that are being taken to overcome the shortcomings and reforge the links with the people are, therefore, to be taken up in the three spheres -governmental, political and organisational which are interlinked.

IN DEFENCE OF LF GOVT

In the last year of its present tenure, the Left Front government will do everything possible to implement the pro-people measures spelt out in the state budget and continue to provide relief to the people who are suffering from price rise, the effects of the agrarian crisis and the policies of the central government in various spheres.

Contrary to what is being depicted, the mass base of the CPI(M) and the Left is substantial and widespread. The forces which are ranged against the Left Front are not going to be united permanently. With the adoption of correct tactics and the single-minded resolve to go to the people, the situation can be turned around.

The entire Party and the Left and democratic forces in the country stand with the CPI(M) and the Left Front in West Bengal in their difficult but necessary struggle to fend off the offensive of the reactionary forces and to reforge the links with the people. Defending the Left Front government means defending the gains and rights of the working people. We cannot ever forget that the Left Front government is a product of the prolonged struggles of the working people of West Bengal.


Courtesy: Dr. D. Mukherjee

CBI CUSTODY FOR BAPI MAHATO

Ananya Dutta

KOLKATA, 23-06-2010: One of the main accused in the Jnaneswari Express derailment case, Bapi Mahato, was produced in court at Jhargram on Tuesday and remanded to custody with the Central Bureau of Investigation for 10 days.

Mr. Mahato, who was flown in a helicopter to Midnapore on Monday, was produced in the court of the Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate amid very high security.

Police had arrested Mr. Mahato at a guest house in Jamshedpur on Sunday, where he had been staying impersonating his cousin, Biman Mahato, also arrested.

“The investigations have progressed a lot after his arrest. He has provided the names of several persons, including some Maoists,” Director General of Police Bhupinder Singh told The Hindu.

The two of them have been charged under section 16 and 18 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act as well as various sections of the Indian Railway Act, Indian Penal Code and the Explosive Substances Act.

Documents and three mobile phones were recovered from them, counsel for the prosecution told journalists at Jhargram.

The CBI had announced a reward of Rs. 1 lakh last week for information on Bapi Mahato.

The reward will be distributed among the officials of the West Bengal police and the Jharkhand police who were involved in the operation, Mr. Singh said.
Reward announced.

A reward for information on the whereabouts of two others – Umakant Mahato and Asit Mahato – had also been announced.

They are, however, still at large.

During the day, officials of the district police at Purulia released the names and photographs of four Maoists, with the announcement of an “appropriate reward.”

The lone person who was captured alive in the June 16 encounter between the police and Maoists at Ranja forest in Paschim Medinipur district was also produced in court during the day and remanded to seven-day police custody, Superintendent of Police Manoj Verma said.

Courtesy: The Hindu dated 23-06-2010

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

MASSACRE IN GYANESHWARI EXPRESS CARRIED OUT BY PCPA WITH FULL SUPPORT AND APPROVAL OF MAOIST LEADERS

22-06-20110
By the joint effort of the police and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) team, Bapi Mahato one of the key accused who was involved in causing the derailment of Gyaneshwari Express on 28th of May was arrested from Jamshedpur on 20th of June. Further to the arrest, he has also confessed that he was associated with the incident which left around 148 innocent people dead.

There has been a breakthrough in the May 28 train attack case as he has confessed to his involvement in derailing of the Gyaneshwari Express in Jhargram as well as his links to the Maoists.

People’s Committee Against Police Atrocities (PCPA) leader Bapi Mahato, who was arrested on June 20 in Jamshedpur, has told interrogators that Maoist leader Kisenji was aware of the planned attack on the Mumbai-bound train which left 148 people dead. Bapi has revealed that PCPA activists carried out the train sabotage with full support and approval of Maoist leaders.

Bapi also told interrogators he had sought permission from Umakanta Mahato and Asit Mahato, his seniors in the PCPA, as well as Maoist leaders Bikas and Sasadhar Mahato.

He has also accepted the involvement of one Umakanto and Asit Mahato in the planning of the attack. As of now, both of these men are absconding.

Mahato revealed that a local railway contractor was given the job of removing chips and sabotaging the railway track in Jhargram.

The PCPA leader also told interrogators that more than 800 locals also took part in the final meeting before attack. He said the attack was carried out to teach security forces a lesson.

Police trapped him after intercepting his conversation with other PCPA leaders.
The Maoists had earlier claimed that it was rogue elements in the PCPA who planned and carried out the train attack.

Bapi told the police that the PCPA and Maoists were angry over a police raid in the area on May 26 and wanted to avenge it by targeting government property. The Gyaneshwari Express was targeted on May 28.

The police in Midnapore claimed it had telephone intercepts in which Bapi, Umakanta and other Maoists leaders were heard congratulating each other after the train derailment.

The police had trapped Bapi in Jamshedpur area of Jharkhand while he was sleeping inside a lodge.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

MAOIST LEADER BAPI MAHATO WHO WAS THE CHIEF ARCHITECT OF GYANESHWARI TRAIN DERAILMENT HAS BEEN ARRESTED FROM JAMSHEDPUR

KOLKATA, 20-06-2010: Maoist leader Bapi Mahato has been arrested here in connection with last month's attack on the Gyaneshwari Express that killed 148 people, media reports said.

Bapi Mahato is the main accused in this case.

Police had arrested People's Committee against Police Atrocities (PCPA) leader Bholanath Mahato before.Bapi Mahato, for whom the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had announced a reward of Rs 1 lakh for information leading to his capture, was taken into custody at Jamshedpur.

On May 28, a sabotage by suspected PCPA members triggerred the biggest Maoist strike on railway by derailing the Mumbai-bound Howrah-Kurla Lokmanya Tilak Gyaneshwari Super Deluxe Express in West Midnapore district of India's West Bengal state.

A goods train also rammed into the derailed train as it fell on another railway track.Thirteen bogies of the train derailed around 1.30 am when the express was running between Khemasoli and Sardiya stations.

He is the fifth man to be arrested for the May 28 sabotage of rail tracks by Maoists that derailed the Gyaneshwari Express in West Bengal. Several of the derailed train coaches were then hit by a goods train when they rolled on to a parallel track. "Mahato was arrested by our police from Jamshedpur," West Bengal director general of police Bhupinder Singh said.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

FOURTH ARREST BY CBI IN GYANESHWARI CASE

Kolkata, June 19, 2010: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has arrested another Maoist-backed People's Committee against Police Atrocities (PCPA) leader in connection with last month's attack on the Gyaneshwari Express that killed 148 people, media reports said.

One more person has been arrested in the Howrah-Kurla Lomanya Tilak Gyaneshwari Super Deluxe Express train derailment case. The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) arrested Bholanath Mahato, a member of the Maoist-backed People's Committee Against Police Atrocities (PCPA), in connection with train derailment case on Saturday.

This is the fourth arrest made by the CBI in the Gyaneshwari Express derailment case. Mahato was allegedly involved in cutting open the pandrol clips (used to fix the rail to the sleeper) which resulted in the train's derailment.

On May 28, a sabotage by suspected PCPA members triggerred the biggest Maoist strike on railway by derailing the Mumbai-bound Howrah-Kurla Lokmanya Tilak Gyaneshwari Super Deluxe Express in West Midnapore district of India's West Bengal state.A goods train also rammed into the derailed train as it fell on another railway track.Thirteen bogies of the train derailed around 1.30 am when the express was running between Khemasoli and Sardiya stations.

CBI has already announced a reward of Rs 1 lakh to those who give information about the whereabouts of the three main accused in the case - Asit Mahato, Bapi Mahato and Umakant Mahato.

CBI has declared a reward of Rs 1 lakh each for information leading to the arrest of three prominent accused - Umakant Mahato, resident of village Banksole, Manoj alias Bapi Mahato, resident of Rasua village and Asit Mahato, resident of Krishnanagar village," CBI spokesperson Harsh Bhal said.

While Asit is the convenor of PCPA, Umakant and Bapi are senior members of the outfit, he said.

At least 148 people were killed and over 200 others injured when the Gyaneshwari Express derailed between Khemasoli and Sardiya stations near Jhargram, about 150 km from Kolkata on May 28.

Umakant and Bapi with the help of some disgruntled PCPA cadres had abducted a railway lineman Dayaram Mahato posted at Sardiha station from his house at about 9:30 PM on May 27 after threatening him and his family. The PCPA leaders warned Mahato that his entire family would be killed if he did not accompany them and carried out their orders.

The PCPA leaders then forced Mahato to open pandrol clips that fix the track to the sleepers, at around 1 AM on May 28 as they knew that GyaneshwariExpress would be passing the area in about 15-20 minutes. Mahato was chosen for the job as an experienced guy can remove the pandrol clips in just a few minutes where it would have taken almost an hour for inexperienced person to do the same.

Umakant along with a few PCPA members remained at the site with the lineman while Bapi went to Sardiha station and blocked a goods train. He let the goods train go after getting go ahead from fellow cadres from the accident site. The goods train ploughed into some bogies of the derailed Gyaneshwari Express which led to more people being killed and injured.

The workers of both the Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee and the Maoist-PCPA have been working hand in gloves to dislodge the Left Front Government in West Bengal. This unholy alliance needs more and more dead bodies for spreading false propaganda against the mainstream Leftists in India so as to achieve electoral gains.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

CBI NAMES 3 PCPA ACTIVISTS AS SUSPECTS IN GYANESHWARI EXPRESS DERAILMENT

UMAKANTA MAHATO - BAPI MAHATO - ASIT MAHATO

NetIndian News Network
New Delhi, June 17, 2010

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) today named three activists of the Maoist-backed People's Committee against Police Atrocities (PCPA) as key accused in the case relating to the May 28 derailment and collision involving the Howrah-Kurla Gyaneshwari Express in West Bengal.

As many as 148 people were killed and about 150 others injured in the incident, which the authorities suspect was the handiwork of Maoists or one of their front organisations.

A press release issued by the CBI here today said the agency had declared a reward of Rs one lakh each for information leading to the arrest of the three "prominent accused" - Umakant Mahto, resident of village Banksole, Manoj alias Bapi Mahto, resident of village Rasua and Asit Mahto, resident of Krishnanagar.

Posters in English, Bengal and the local Alchiki language, with the pictures of the three suspects, were released today and will be displayed at prominent places for seeking information about them.

The press release said information about the suspects could be made available round the clock on telephone numbers 09674433351, 09051444405, 09051061000 and 033-23596119 or sent to fax number 033-23348713. The information can also be sent by e-mail to hobsckol@cbi.gov.in or by mail to Special Crime Branch, CGO Complex, A-Wing, DF Block, Salt Lake, Kolkata-64.

The release said the Director of CBI had also constituted a Joint Investigation Team (JIT) to look into the professional investigation of the incident, which had also resulted in the loss of property worth crores of rupees.

The investigation involves close coordination and cooperation between several organizations, agencies and individuals, it said.

The JIT comprises three officers of CBI, three officers of State Police, two officers of Railway Protection Force, one officer of Railway Board and two forensic experts for carrying out the investigation in a time-bound manner. Mr Keshav Kumar, IGP & Joint Director, CBI, is the head of the JIT.

As many as 13 coaches of the superfast train had derailed around 1.30 am on May 28 near Kharagpur and three of them were rammed within minutes by a speeding goods train coming from the opposite direction.

Authorities said the derailment was an act of sabotage by Maoists, whose outfits had declared a "Black Week" in the region. Officials said the driver of the passenger train had reported hearing a loud noise before the Howrah-Kurla superfast train passed the spot.

Television pictures showed about 18 inches of the track missing at the spot where the derailment took place, apparently cut.

The incident occurred between the Khemasoli and Sardiya stations on the Kharagpur-Tatanagar section, about 135 km from Kolkata.

Courtesy: NetIndian News Network

THE CHALLANGE FROM THE MAOISTS AND THE DUPLICITY OF MAMATA BANERJEE

EDITORIAL OF GANASHAKTI DATED 18-06-2010
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CBI CONFIRMS THAT MAOISTS WERE BEHIND THE MASSACRE IN GYANESHWARI EXPRESS ON 28-05-2010



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MAOISTS HAD BIGGER PLAN TO STRIKE IN THREE BLOCKS OF WEST MIDNAPORE

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CBI DECLARES REWARD FOR TIPS ON BENGAL TRAIN SABOTAGE ACCUSED – HINDUSTAN TIMES

UMAKANTA MAHATO, BAPI MAHATO, ASIT MAHATO
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Thursday declared a reward of Rs.1 lakh each for anyone providing information about the three prime accused in the May 28 Gyaneshwari Express derailment case in West Bengal.

CBI Additional Director General (Media and Communication) Harsh Bhal said the investigating agency would give the reward to anyone giving information about the absconding trio -- Umakant Mahato of Banksole village, Manoj alias Bapi Mahato of Rasua village and Asit Mahato of Krishnanagar village in West Bengal's West Midnapore district.

"Posters in this regard were released today and will be displayed at prominent places for seeking information about the absconding accused. These posters have been issued in English, Bengali and local (Santhali) languages," said the CBI spokesperson.

The posters say the name of the person providing information leading to the arrest of the accused will not be disclosed.

Posters were also distributed from the office of the West Midnapore Superintendent of Police Manoj Verma.

Verma said: "The CBI has asked us to distribute the posters and also to put them up in various important locations in and outside the district."

The CBI has also constituted a joint investigation team (JIT) to look into the derailment case.

"The JIT comprises three CBI officers, three officers of the state police, two officers of the Railway Protection Force, one officer of the Railway Board and two forensic experts. Keshav Kumar, inspector general of police and CBI joint director, is heading the team," said Bhal.

The Mumbai-bound Gyaneshwari Express derailed May 28 due to alleged Maoist sabotage and subsequently a freight train approaching from the opposite direction rammed into five derailed coaches, killing 148 persons.

Following the incident, the state police's Criminal Investigation Department (CID) initiated an inquiry, but later handed over the case to the CBI June 10.

The central government engaged the federal investigative agency to conduct the probe following a demand from Railway Minister and Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee.

While the CID nabbed two people -- Khagen Mahato and Samir Mahato, the CBI has arrested one suspect, Hiralal Mahato for his alleged involvement in the case. But all the prime accused are still evading the arrest.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

HUGE CACHE OF ARMS AND AMMUNITIONS RECOVERED FROM THE MAOIST BUTCHERS, RAPISTS AND EXTORTIONISTS BY JOINT FORCES IN THE FOREST OF SHALBONI ON 16-06-20

LEFT FRONT GOVERNMENT CELEBRATES 33 YEARS IN OFFICE ON 21-06-2010 AT NETAJI INDOOR STADIUM

TRAIN ATTACK IS NINTH MAJOR MAOIST STRIKE THIS YEAR

The train derailment, which led to the death of 65 people in West Bengal Friday and is blamed on Maoist insurgents, is the ninth major strike by the rebels since February this year and third attack on trains this month. At least 216 people have been killed in the series of attacks.

Following is the chronology of recent major attacks by the rebels active in central and eastern India:

May 28: At least 148 people were killed after a passenger train was derailed and hit by a speeding goods train in West Bengal's West Midnapore district. Officials blamed Maoists for the sabotage that led to the derailment.

May 22: A civilian and a policeman, travelling in the Tatanagar-bound Steel Express, were injured in an exchange of fire between Maoists and security forces at Banstala station in West Midnapore.

May 20: Fourteen oil tankers of a goods train were derailed after Maoists blew up railway lines between Dighwara and Pipra stations in Bihar.

May 19: Maoists triggered a landmine blast on railway tracks near Jhargram in West Midnapore district injuring two drivers of a goods train and leaving the engine damaged.

May 17: Over 30 Special Police Officers and civilians were killed when Maoists triggered a landmine blowing up a civilian bus in Dantewada district of Chhattisgarh.

May 8: At least eight paramilitary troopers were killed when Maoists blew up their bullet-proof vehicle in Bijapur district of Chhattisgarh.

April 6: Seventy-six security personnel were killed in one of the deadliest attacks by Maoists in Dantewada district.

April 4: A landmine planted by the leftist guerrillas killed 11 security personnel of the elite anti-Maoist Special Operations Group (SOG) of police in Koraput district of Orissa.

Feb 15: Maoists attacked security force camp in Silda in West Midnapore of West Bengal killing 24 personnel of the Eastern Frontier Rifles (EFR).

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

THIRD ARREST IN GYANESHWARI TRAIN ACCIDENT

2010-06-15 15:10:00

A pro-Maoist activist has been arrested for the sabotage that led to the Gyaneshwari Express train derailment in West Bengal last month killing 148 people, CBI sources said Tuesday. This is the third arrest in the case.
Hiralal Mahato, an active member of Peoples' Committee Against Police Atrocities' (PCAPA) militant wing - Sidhu Kanhu Gano Milita - was arrested from Rusua village near Jhargram in West Midnapore district, a police official said.
This is the first arrest by the Central Bureau of Investigation after taking over the case from the state police's Criminal Investigation Department (CID) on June 10.
The Mumbai-bound Gyaneshwari Express ran off the rails May 28 near Jhargram in West Midnapore after a portion of the tracks was sabotaged, allegedly by Maoists. A speeding freight train then rammed into five derailed coaches of the Gyaneshwari, leading to the death of 148 people.

Soon after the accident, the state government had asked the CID to probe the matter. However, following a demand from Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee, the central government entrusted the CBI with the job.

Earlier, sleuths of the CID arrested Samir Mahato and Khagen Mahato, members of the militant wing of PCAPA. Both were produced before a lower Court in Jhargram town and remanded to CBI custody till June 17.

A senior officer of CBI said they learnt about Hiralal after grilling Samir and Khagen. Hiralal is known to be the right hand man of Bapi Mahato, who masterminded the sabotage.

The CBI spokesperson, Harsh Bhal said: 'Hiralal Mahato was arrested and he will be produced before the Jhargram Court later today.'

However, a senior CID officer, on condition of anonymity, said Hiralal was earlier identified by the CID also among those involved in the sabotage but could not be arrested.

Courtesy: www.sify.com

JNANESWARI TRAGEDY: CBI NETS KEY PCAPA MEMBER - INDIAN EXPRESS


15-06-2010

The CBI arrested an 18-year-old youth late on Monday night who is allegedly involved in the Jnaneswari Express derailment case.

“Hiralal Mahato was present at the spot with prime accused Bapi Mahato and Umakanto Mahato,” said a senior official of the Railways. “He is a right hand man of Bapi and he used to move with Bapi wherever he went. He is a bigger catch than Khagen and Samir Mahato.”
A member of the People’s Committee Against Police Atrocity (PCAPA), he is also a resident of Rasua village where Bapi used to live, the official added.

A senior railway official said the youth was among the five people being interrogated by the CBI. The agency had zeroed in on the men following the interrogation of Khagen and Samir Mahato.

The CBI, the official said, is yet to get any evidence of a blast in the place. As per forensic experts, the sabotage was done by removing pandrole clips from the tracks. “We are investigating into the matter,” he added.
Bhupinder Singh, the Director General of Police, said: “The CBI has given us the names of a few persons they want arrested. We had these names with us as the CID was probing the case. But since the CBI has approached us, we will make the arrests.”

INNOCENT MAOISTS AND THE INCREDIBLE BUT FACTUAL TALE OF A HEARTBREAKING RAIL TRAGEDY

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Half minister Dinesh Trivedi always has a refined presence on television debates. Sometimes too refined one would say. He speaks chaste English, he can articulate his party chieftain’s feral “vision” in plain words which typically bear mordant remarks about the bête noire CPI (M). This half minister is seldom seen on TV to speak about his ministerial responsibilities as television producers are pretty aware about his mostly cliché and stupid half-ministerial talks. Therefore after the Maoists have successfully derailed the Mumbai bound Gyaneshwari Express near Jhargram in Bengal’s Midnapore district and caused several civilian deaths, this man’s clean and cold face kept flashing on various news channels. When asked about his opinion about the horrific incidence, Trivedi squarely puts the entire blame on the State government, parroting the Trinamool chieftain’s corrosive guideline and asks: Isn’t law and order comes under the state? When the anchor of the show asks him whether the Railways minister also owes some responsibility or not, the half minister thundered: How do you blame the Railways Ministry when the incidence has taken place in CPM ruled Bengal? After all Mamata Banerjee is not Bengal’s chief minister. He then delivered a gem of a dialogue. The half minister assured us, “The day Mamata Banerjee becomes the chief minister of Bengal, I can guarantee you there will not be any such problems”! (Source )

Indian politicians are habitually infamous for talking nonsense in public and Trinamool Congress is particularly notorious in this aspect. One might therefore think that Trivedi must have gone utterly paranoid to stupidly justify an awesome disaster on behalf of his party boss who unfortunately is the Railways minister of the country. One might also wonder how Trivedi is so sure about the administrative competency of Mamata Banerjee. Both the thoughts have a close connection. In fact, Trivedi was speaking according to an instant strategy derived from the fantastic brains of Mamata Banerjee and her present advisors. The script was plain and simple. First to put the entire blame on the state government’s failure to maintain law and order, then to spread the rumor that the incident was possibly the handiwork of the CPI (M) and finally, to obscure any feature that could draw attention towards the Maoists and their frontal organization PCAPA as the real culprits behind the tragedy and shield them.

Intellectuals, who claim to be representatives of civil society and are openly supporting both the PCAPA and Mamata Banerjee, immediately jumped on the bandwagon. Instead of assisting the hapless victims and standing beside their families, the so called intellectuals, many of them on payroll of Indian Railways, were more anxious to clear the name of Mamata Banerjee and the Maoists from any public suspicion. They called a press conference to condemn the deaths and offer condolence to the victims. But the event was instantaneously converted into a political platform where the “awake and aware” intellectuals accused the CPI (M) of being involved in the mishap. “The accident was made to happen at a time when people are preparing to ring in a change,” thundered painter Shuvaprasanna, chairman of the passenger amenities committee of the Railways and Mamata Banerjee’s Rasputin. Amid table-thumping approval from Shuvaprasanna, another jewel of the crown Debobrata Bandopadhyay unambiguously said that “the needle of suspicion is towards CPM, which is the only beneficiary of the accident.” During the press meet no one minced a single word about the involvement of the Maoists except Railways heritage and culture committee chairperson Shaoli Mitra, who monthly draws Rs. 50,000 and other perks from the Railways coffer. Posing as the most credulous among the lot, Mitra uttered, “Even though Maoists have denied their links with the accident, media is emphasizing the Maoists link. We are going through a dark time.” How bad not to believe the honest and truthful Maoists! However, the “intellectuals” refused to answer any question posed by journalists who asked them about the basis of their allegation. (
Source )

Within hours after the now infamous “intellectual” press conference, Mamata Banerjee appeared into the arena to hold one more press meet with her matching message: “I don't know who has done the heinous crime. But whoever has done it, it's a political conspiracy. (Emphasis added) I have requested the union home ministry to conduct a probe,” she said briskly. She then added her punch line, “The accident has happened two days before the (civic) election. One may be politically against us, but I feel bad the way the incident was engineered to fulfill one's political interests.” (
Source )

Why the Trinamool tricksters are so eager to put the blame on the CPI (M)? Is it just because they wanted to score brownie points before the civic polls? This logic seems valid and persuasive, but there is a more intricate mechanism that is working deep beneath the visible surface. During the Singur-Nandigram fiasco, a single enemy strategy was vigorously employed by the detractors of the CPI (M) which had helped the Trinamool Congress to evoke an innate fighting impulse against the Marxists. To some extent this fighting impulse has stimulated the common man’s mind and caused the party’s 2009 poll debacle. No one can completely deny that the CPI (M) as a party has made quite a few serious blunders during the land acquisition controversies. But it is also a fact that to serve the single enemy strategy and impale the Marxists as enemy of the people, the blunders have been trumped up on an enormous magnitude. The CPI (M) has been blamed for every malady and misfortune of Bengal. It was a well crafted strategy to cloud rational judgment and distract attention from the real causes. The vicious attack has worked extremely well in the recent past and eroded a substantial chunk of the Left Front and the CPI (M)’s support base. At the same time it has helped the Trinamool chieftain to emerge as the only unyielding voice against the single enemy CPI (M). Quite obviously it became the central strategy for the Trinamool and their rainbow allies which also include the Maoists as a vital but disguised ally. Blaming the CPI (M) have therefore served a dual purpose. It has augmented the single enemy strategy and also obscured the role of the atrocious Maoists in the train tragedy that has caused death of nearly 150 innocent civilians.

The “blame CPI (M)” ploy was initiated by the Trinamool MP Sisir Adhikari with his “evil forces are out to vilify Mamata” remark. Receiving the tip-off from Adhikari, the PCAPA convener and spokesperson Asit Mahato was quick to announce, “We had no knowledge about the attack on the train. Our people did not do it…. It was the handiwork of CPM goons. It was a conspiracy hatched by the CPM.” After denying any involvement of the PCAPA in the sabotage and strongly proclaiming about a “CPI (M) conspiracy” Mahato did not stop there. Sensing the ramifications of the tragedy, a concerned Mahato desperately attempted to vindicate Mamata Banerjee and said, “CPI (M) has plans to politically isolate Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee so that she is forced to resign”. (
Source ) Then the Trinamool intellectuals started their synchronized chorus to deliver an identical message which was followed by a statement issued by the State Committee of the CPI (Maoist). The statement assured the railway authorities “Nothing will be done from our side” and solicited them to ply their trains without fear. Keen to distance themselves from the tragedy fearing public backlash, the Maoists also repudiated the charge against them by stating that, “We were not involved in the sabotage.” Shaoli Mitra’s argument about the “innocent” Maoists was based on this statement. The Maoists also “demanded” an independent enquiry of the incidence by “a neutral investigation team comprising intellectuals, scientists, engineers and unofficial experts” since the state controlled CID and the central agency CBI “both are biased”. The Maoists demand call in mind what Rabindranath Tagore once wrote condemning the violence perpetrated by Indian extremist groups during the freedom movement, “To light the fire and then complain that it burns is absolutely childish.”

Why the Trinamool intellectuals and the veiled backers of Mamata Banerjee so intensely struggling to shield the Maoists from the train mishap? It is only because the chronology of events clearly show how the Trinamool leaders, the intellectuals, the PCAPA and the Maoists are coordinated with each other. Within days, the Indian Express published a story on PCAPA leader Bapi Mahato who controls the Guimara-Lalgeria panchayat area where the Gyaneshwari train disaster took place. The 25 year young leader, charged as the mastermind behind the attack by the police and investigating agencies, has revealed that “…we targeted the goods train. But somehow, we were fed wrong information that the goods train would cross through this track and we removed pandrol clips from a long stretch.” (
Source )

Here we must also mention about some “neutral” analysts like a learned economist turned talk-show star who was simply “unable to comprehend why the Maoists will attack a train if they are so intimate to Mamata Banerjee”. Are the so called “neutral” voices really so naïve to figure out that Mamata Banerjee has mounted on a savage beast to achieve her enduring objective of occupying the Bengal chief minister’s chair? A Maoist leader has explained her predicament to the media, “We had expected Mamata to pressure the Centre in withdrawing the joint forces from the Jungle Mahal area. But she did nothing… She took our help in Nandigram, but she didn’t help us and so we wanted to cause minor damage to the railways by targeting a goods train.” (
Source ) These so called neutral voices are in fact deceitful to the core. By pretending to be naïve, they are actually trying to mislead the people from the clear nexus between the Maoists and Trinamool. People only see what they are prepared to see. Mamata loyalists and lobbyists are therefore trying too hard to preserve the post Singur-Nandigram milieu so that the opportunity of a “change” does not spin out of control. But here is a caveat. The savage beast will possibly stop only after consuming the rider.

Mamata Banerjee’s admirers adore her for the essentially ruthless fighter image she has fostered over the years and for her ability to enforce a creepy but effective anti-CPI (M) diatribe. In her ongoing business of deception, she is steadily assisted by her intellectual friends who are putting the final wrapping on her glitzy packages. Under her direction, incessant attacks of virulent deception are widely been used as a worthy weapon to win over different segments of the population and for keeping the support intact till the 2010 assembly elections.

Most of the arguments spearheaded by the Trinamool chieftain are essentially phony as their base substances are all lies. In unusual situations, even phony facts and phony arguments sound logical. The same is happening today in the post Singur-Nandigram political atmosphere of Bengal. The fallacies and lies she have mastered to execute her deception strategies will obviously fool some people for some time. Many of her enthusiastic supporters are unable to visualize the actual situation as their minds are besieged under the grand emotional appeals and fallacious arguments of the Trinamool Congress. But will it be possible for the megalomaniac Mamata Banerjee to keep this momentum till the 2011 assembly elections is a tuff question to answer. From the almighty chieftain to the creepy-crawly lower rank leaders, most of the Trinamool team is habitual offenders of democratic integrity. Their rhetoric is full of unsound reasoning. Their language is filthy and obnoxious. Their approach is unscrupulous and fascistic. Their outlook is reactionary.

The Trinamool chieftain and her destructive forces have launched a new brand of manipulative politics in Bengal where emotion instead of reason is used to prove a conclusion to every political argument. Her expendable pawns of today and her future day scapegoats are mostly unaware about the ulterior motive of this deceptive politics. By deliberately replacing reality with illusion, by appealing to people’s emotions and prejudices to cloud their thinking ability, she has converted political deception almost into an art form. Hence, for the time being, her every wrong seems to be right. The Trinamool intellectuals on the other hand, especially the most vicious among them have confirmed once more that greed and self-interest are truly great motivators. But the recent events have proved one more thing for sure. You really do not need enemies if you have friends like the ones who are buzzing around Mamata Banerjee’s spoilt hive.

As a continuation of their 2009 general election performance, the Trinamool has achieved a “giant victory” in the civic polls today. It is an expected verdict. Only a miracle would have turned the verdict in CPI (M)’s favor. But the writings have already started to appear on the wall. It will become more and more prominent in the coming days. Do we really need a weather man to know which way the wind blows?

Courtesy: www.wordsfromsolitude.blogspot.com/2010/06/innocent-maoists-and-incredible-but.html

Sunday, June 13, 2010

GYANESHWARI EXPRESS TRAIN DERAILMENT - From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

“The Gyaneshwari Express derailment occurred on 28 May 2010 in the West Midnapore district of West Bengal, India.[5] It was disputed as to whether sabotage or a bomb caused damage on the railway track, which in turn led to a train's derailment before an oncoming goods train hit the loose carriages killing at least 141 passengers.[6]

BACKGROUND


The derailment occurred 90 minutes after a Communist Party of India (Maoist) four-day bandh in the area began.[7] It was termed a "black week" and security was put on high alert.[8]


A few weeks before the attack the Indian Railway Minister said Naxal attacks were affecting the profitability of the railways: "We have lost Rs 500 crore because of Naxal bandhs and obstructions. There has been adverse impact on operations, freight loading and passenger traffic on a localised basis during bandh calls and other threats in vulnerable areas."[9]


DERAILMENT


The state police chief stated that Maoist Naxalites claimed responsibility for removing a 46-centimetre (18 in) length of railway track.[10] At 01:30 local time, a train with 13 carriages passing over the missing track derailed. The Howrah – Kurla Lokmanya Tilak Gyaneshwari Super Deluxe Express was travelling from Howrah to Mumbai.[5] The derailed train was then struck by a goods train travelling in the opposite direction.[5] At least 141 people died and more than 180 people were injured.[6] The missing track was between Khemasoli and Sardiya stations.[5] A section of the rail track was found to be missing and fishplates were loosened, suggesting sabotage.[10][11]


Initially there was uncertainty as to whether the attack was a result of a blast or due to derailment of the train. Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee said a bomb blast was part of a "calculated attack" that caused the train to derail.[12] She said "The driver of the train heard an explosion, so we are looking into that. We are aware that the Naxals have access to sophisticated bombs and improvised explosive devices."[9]


RESCUE OPERATION


Officially, 26 bodies were found, and a rescue team was working to find more bodies. Indian Air Force helicopters were pressed into service at the accident spot, and airlifted some of the injured passengers to hospitals.[10] A medical train was sent to the location.[13] At least one person trapped in the train appeared to be alive.[14]


RESPONSIBILITY


After the West Bengal police said that the Gyaneshwari Express accident "appears to be the work of Maoists,"[10] the PCPA claimed responsibility[4]


The police found posters from the Maoist-affiliated Police Santras Birodhi Janosadharan Committee (People's Committee against Police Atrocities) (PCPA) claiming responsibility at the site.[15] A PCPA spokesperson, however, denied involvement in the incident, instead blaming the CPI (M) of "hatching a plot" to malign the Railway Minister and of attempting to distance the PCPA from the people.[16]


REACTION


Prime Minister Manmohan Singh expressed his grief over the loss of lives.[17] The government of India said it would give Rs. 5 lakh to the kin of the dead and offer jobs to family members.[13] The government of West Bengal announced that they would bear the cost of treatment for the victims.[10]


Indian Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee rushed to the location of the accident where she said she was aware of the Maoist-declared black days and security had been increased.[18] Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee condemned the attack,[14] although he was seen as unusually cautious in blaming Maoists for triggering the derailment. He also appeared to deny there was a blast, in contrast to his cabinet colleague Mamata Banerjee. "I am deeply saddened by the tragedy. It appears to be a case of sabotage where a portion of the track was removed. Whether explosives were used is not yet clear."[19]


West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharya condemned the attack. He said "All our efforts have to be directed against this menace; on how the State and the country can be liberated from this threat...We will sensitise our forces and we will counter this Maoist threat. We knew they would be observing this week, but we had no idea that they would be committing this dastardly crime."[20] He also warned that "they are coming from all sides."[9]


POLITICAL BLAME-GAME


A day after the attack the Bhattacharya and Banerjee got into a war of words that was linked to the upcoming municipal elections in the province.[21] It was alleged that Banerjee is backing pro-Maoist groups like the PCPA in her political battle against Bhattacharya's CPI-M.[22]


Trinamool Congress is trying to mobilise all the anti-Left forces including the Maoists. Not just in Lalgarh but also in Nandigram and Singur where they have launched movements. In both the places, they took the help of the Maoists." Nirupam Sen, Industries Minister in the West Bengal government.


"What were the people and tribals of Lalgarh looking for? They were simply looking for dignity, security and relief from abject poverty. And what did they get in return? They got the lathis and bullets as they were terrorised by the CPI-M and the police." Derek O'Brien, TMC spokesperson.


Banerjee later called the incident a political conspiracy, while hinting at the involvement of elements of the ruling CPI (M) party.[23]


RESPONSE FROM NAXALS


A spokesperson for the Naxalites, known simply as "Comrade Akaash", has contacted the BBC and has said that the Naxals will investigate whether renegade factions of the Naxals may be behind the attack. Speaking out regarding railway officials halting train traffic into Naxal afected areas, Akaash claims that the Naxals will guarantee the safety and security of rail traffic into those regions.[24]

EXTRACT FROM RESOLUTION ON THE EXPANSION OF MAOIST ACTIVITIES PASSED IN BJP NATIONAL EXECUTIVE MEETING AT PATNA (BIHAR) ON 12-06-2010 and 13-06-2010




MAMATA BANERJEE WITH DREADED MAOIST LEADER CHATRADHAR MAHATO


“The UPA-I was a wasted opportunity in the battle against Maoists. The Home Ministry, under UPA-I, failed to realize the enormity of the problem and the possible solutions, and responses to it. The Home Ministry under UPA-II initially showed signs of understanding the extent and enormity of the Maoist problem, but the entire national impetus being built up has been lost on account of the politics of the UPA and the Congress itself. During the UPA-I, the Congress had political adjustments with the Maoists in Andhra Pradesh and Jharkhand where electoral conveniences guided it accordingly. When states like Chhattisgarh started innovative programmes to tackle the Maoist menace, the Congress was opposed to it. During the UPA-II there were initial signs of coordination, building up between the states and the Centre. The national mood was strongly in favour of a coordinated strategy against the Maoists. Despite several setbacks, the national Opposition was in a mood to fully stand by the government against indiscriminate Maoist violence. However, differences within the UPA have started crippling the Central government’s approach towards the Maoists.

The Congress leaders started openly questioning the approach of the Home Ministry and the government of India. In West Bengal, an UPA ally, the Trinamool Congress, openly started hobnobbing with the Maoists because of electoral and vote bank consideration. Differences in the Cabinet spilled over into the public. The Home Ministry wanted an ‘expanded mandate’ to fight the Maoists. The Cabinet was willing to give only a ‘limited mandate’. The Home Ministry favoured the use of air-power for surveillance; the Defence Minister was not cooperative.”


Saturday, June 12, 2010

THE POLIT BUREAU OF THE CPI (M) MET IN NEW DELHI ON JUNE 5 & 6, 2010. IT HAS ISSUED THE FOLLOWING STATEMENT:

6 June 2010

LIFT BLOCKADE OF GAZA

The Polit Bureau expressed its strong condemnation and outrage at the attack by Israeli armed forces on the flotilla of ships carrying humanitarian aid for the people of Gaza. Nine people were killed and many others injured in this attack on international waters. Israel behaves like a rogue State in enforcing the blockade of Gaza.

It is highly regrettable that the UPA government has not even condemned Israel by name for this attack in the statement issued by the Ministry of External Affairs and confines itself to regretting the loss of lives and the use of force. The Polit Bureau demands that the Government of India work actively with other countries to get the blockade of Gaza lifted. The Polit Bureau reiterates that India should stop all military and security collaboration with Israel as long as it remains in illegal occupation of Palestinian and Arab territories.

WEST BENGAL MUNICIPAL POLLS & ITS AFTERMATH

The Polit Bureau heard a preliminary report on the elections to 81 municipal bodies in West Bengal in which the CPI (M) and the Left have suffered losses. The West Bengal State Committee will conduct a review of the elections on the basis of which necessary political and organizational steps can be taken to win back the confidence of those sections of the people who have moved away from the Party.

The Polit Bureau strongly condemns the attack launched by the Trinamul Congress and its allies in various parts of West Bengal after the result of the municipal election. So far five activists and supporters of the CPI (M) have been killed in Birbhum, Mushirabad and Bankura districts. There have been attack on the houses of CPI (M) supporters and other places too.

The Polit Bureau appeals to all democratic forces to condemn such violence which is a blatant violation of minimum democratic norms. The Central Government should look into the role of its own Cabinet Minister in inciting such violence.

KERALA SITUATION

The Polit Bureau noted that various communal and caste forces are being mobilized against the CPI(M) and the LDF government. These forces are sought to be consolidated behind the Congress-led UDF. The increasing intervention of religious and communal bodies in politics does not augur well for the secular polity in Kerala.

The CPI (M) will conduct a vigorous campaign against the interference of sectarian and communal forces in the political affairs of the state.

PRICES OF PETROLEUM PRODUCTS

There are reports that the government is considering a further increase in the prices of petrol, diesel and other petroleum products. This will be totally unwarranted and impose a crushing burden on the people in view of the continuing increase in food prices and inflation. The Polit Bureau warns the government not to increase the prices of petroleum products.

FOOD SECURITY LEGISLATION

Despite the declaration of the Prime Minister a few months ago that the “worst of food inflation is over”, the food inflation rate continues to remain extremely high at over 16.5 per cent. This signifies the utter failure of the UPA in checking price rise. The Government is stubbornly refusing to reverse the neoliberal policies causing price rise. Even today, the buffer stocks of over 4 crore tonnes of foodgrains are rotting in Government godowns. Yet these stocks are not being used to restore the huge cut in foodgrains allocations to the States for APL sections who have been wrongly excluded from the public distribution system.

In this context, the CPI (M) opposes the present approach of the UPA Government on the Food Security Bill, which seeks to provide legal sanction to the exclusion of vast sections of the people from the PDS based on the flawed poverty estimates. This will be even worse than the current situation where the States can move towards a universal PDS combining their own schemes with central allocations. The Government is not interested in expanding the right to food for the food insecure population. It is calculating the numbers of poor to restrict the beneficiaries in order to save resources and restrict food subsidy. The Polit Bureau of the CPI(M) reiterates its demands for a universalized system of PDS with at least 35 kg of foodgrains allocation per family at a maximum rate of two rupees a kilo.

The Left parties are holding a Convention on July 1 in New Delhi to take up this issue.

RANGANATH MISHRA COMMISSION REPORT

The Polit Bureau demanded that the UPA government table the Action Taken Report on the recommendations of the Ranganath Mishra Commission. The recommendations pertain to reservation in jobs and education for minorities on the basis of their social and educational backward status. There has been undue delay in acting upon the report and this should be taken up in the monsoon session of Parliament.

MAOIST VIOLENCE

The Polit Bureau condemned in the strongest terms the derailment of the Gyaneshwari Express in West Midnapore district of West Bengal which resulted in the deaths of 149 passengers and injuries to many more. The sabotage of a passenger train indulged in by elements of the Maoist-PCAPA combine is a terrorist act directed against innocent people. This exposes the true face of the Maoists. Firm action should be taken against such elements to deter such violent attacks in the future.

IPL AFFAIRS

The CPI (M) had earlier pointed out the wide ramifications of the IPL affairs which involve large-scale money transactions and illegal activities in the name of a cricket. The manner in which the BCCI and the IPL body have conducted the bids and the franchising have raised a host of issues. The matter cannot be disposed off with some routine enquiries conducted by the agencies under the Finance Ministry. What is required is a full-fledged probe. This should be done by a Joint Parliamentary Committee.