The Persecuted Prisoners Solidarity Committee (PPSC) strongly condemns the judgement by the Gadchiroli Sessions Court March 7, 2017 convicting Mahesh Tirki, Pandu Narote, Hem Mishra, Prashant Rahi, Vijay Tirki and G N Saibaba, under various sections of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 (UAPA) and awarding life sentence to five of them and a ten year imprisonment to another.
PPSC was initiated with the objective of focusing on the plight of adivasi and marginalized prisoners suffering under the criminal justice system in the armed conflict zones of central and eastern India. It is ironical that Prashant Rahi, one of the main motivators behind PPSC and an untiring worker for the rights and release of persecuted prisoners, is today a victim of the same criminal justice system which has imprisoned him for life for standing up for the victims of the war on people that is being waged by the state in vast parts of India.
The other victims of this judgement, which can at best be called a travesty of justice and at worst an open demonstration of the resolve of the state to punish all dissent, include Mahesh Tirki, Pandu Narote and Vijay Tirki, all adivasi youth from Gadchiroli and Chattisgarh, Hem Mishra a student and cultural activist from JNU and G. N Saibaba, a 95% physically challenged professor and activist from DU, all of whom have already suffered for many months in jail. Now they are looking ahead to many years in prison again, thanks to the vengeful Indian state which criminalizes all forms of dissent and protest using the criminal justice system and draconian laws such as the UAPA.
It is of not much use here in pointing out the blatant and glaring inconsistencies, generalizations, subjective observations and biased application of case law with which the entire judgement convicting the abovementioned people is riddled. It would be more instructive to understand the motivation behind the judgement, and the vengeance with which the verdict has been delivered. This is clear from para 1013 (pp 818-819) of the judgement which says “…the situation in Gadchiroli district from 1982 till today is in paralyzed condition and no industrial and other developments are taking place because of fear of naxal (sic) and their violent activities. Hence, in my opinion, the imprisonment for life is also not a sufficient punishment to the accused but the hands of the Court are closed with the mandate of Section 18 and 20 of UAPA and in my opinion it is a fit case to award sentence of imprisonment of life…”. It is clear that the judge rues the fact that exploitation of the adivasi people of Gadchiroli has not been possible because popular resistance, and holds the six accused guilty for that, and regrets that he cannot sentence them to death! Therefore, this judgement has been delivered clearly to serve the interests of the corporations and the state which is hell bent on plundering the resources of the adivasi areas in the name of industrialization and development. It is in the backdrop of the strong peoples’ resistance against iron ore mining in Gadchiroli that this judgement has been given, as a clear message to crush all resistance against corporate plunder of the natural resources which is being tried out in the vast area spread from Jharkhand to Maharashtra. During the same week, the judgment by a Gurgaon court convicting 31 workers of the Maruti Suzuki factory in Manesar, also clearly demonstrates that it is the interest of the corporations that courts all over India are serving and any resistance against these interests will be crushed brutally by using the criminal justice system.
We believe that the six convicted should be released immediately and charges against them should be dropped. We call upon all organizations and democratic-minded people to unite and protest strongly against this particular judgement and against the general persecution of the most marginalized sections of our population by the criminal justice system in the entire armed conflict zone of eastern and central India, and elsewhere, where the people are bravely resisting the state and corporations’ relentless attack on the lives and livelihoods of the working people.
Partho Sarothi Ray
On behalf of
Persecuted Prisoners Solidarity Committee (PPSC)
The old Indian State, through the Court of Sessions of Gadchiroli (Maharashtra), convicted the Delhi University professor G.N. Saibaba to the life imprisonment. That punishment happened because of his important militancy in defence of the people’s rights. Besides Professor Saibaba, five other militants were targets of this unacceptable measure and convicted under the draconian anti-terror law.
The Indian government has attacked more and more the people of its own country. In order to expel the peasants from their lands, under the mantra of “Operation Green Hunt”, the Adivasis people villages are being decimated, under constants air strikes and the offensive of mercenary groups working for the government. All this has been done to ensure the interests of transnational companies, especially those in the mining sector. In the cities, there is a growing number of draconian laws targeting activists and people’s rights activists. Besides Professor Saibaba the renowned Indian writer Arundhati Roy also has been pursued by the old State. Continue reading
The Struggle Committee Manipur request the people of Manipur to join the torch rally on the 28th of February 28,2017 for the sole purpose of highlighting :
i) The struggle to save the indigenous peoples of Manipur, and to protest the attempt of certain non native inhabitants trying to rein us by contesting in the forthcoming State Assembly election.
ii) The forced relocation of the poor fishermen of Loktak & the pilferage of a mammoth sum of money allotted for the beautification & cleaning of Loktak Lake and the person who was behind this nefarious deed, Mr. Okram Ibobi, be tried for his crime against humanity.
ii) The hushing up of the infamous narco scandal at Imphal Airport, involving one phantom by the name Mr. Tarpon & yet again involving the infamous Mr. Okram Henry, the nephew of the notorious 10% CM Mr. Okram Ibobi.
iv) Demanding a public apology by the heartless Cretin & Monster CM Mr. Okram Ibobi for the blot in the history of human rights involving the broad daylight murder of an expectant mother Rabina, in her advanced state of pregnancy & Sanjit, by the uniformed law enforcement agency and the heartless statement “there is no other alternative except to kill-hatpa nattana upai leite” following the unforgivable incident.
v)Demanding an explanation to the public why Article 3 was not amended by the Indian National Congress party in order to safeguard the territorial integrity of Manipur.
Mr. Okram Ibobi,the leader of the Indian National Congress party in Manipur does not have any moral or legal right to talk of safeguarding the territorial integrity of Manipur. The public unless morally corrupt and malingering to have a selective amnesia under the influence of some petty amount of money are well aware of the June uprising in 2001 and the fact that the Indian National Congress was the at the helm of affair since 2004 for a decade, both at the state and the centre. Why then was Article 3 of the Indian constitution not amended to safeguard the territorial integrity of Manipur during the reign of the INC at both the state & the Centre? Certainly Mr.Okram Ibobi owe us the public an explanation. To use the sensitive issue of territorial integrity at this time of the forthcoming state assembly election by him & the INC is a gimmick and a farce on the part of Mr. Okram Ibobi and the INC.
It was on the 4th of August 1972 when the INC and the United Naga Integration Council(UNIC) laid the foundation of the disintegration of Manipur when the then state INC President H.Nilamani Singh gave a nod of agreement to the UNIC, compromising the territorial integrity under the influence of the INC bureaucrat Mr.Sheel Bhadra Yajee. How can the INC led by Mr. Okram Ibobi fool us and to hypnotize us with the mantra of safeguarding the territorial integrity when his party were the one to jeopardize the same territory they promise to safeguard.
The Struggle Committee Manipur would also like to remind the public that it was the INC who gave away the “Kabaw Valley” on a platter to the then Burmese Government and also the fiasco of the border fencing a few years back, the voice of dissent of the public was however silenced by a sum of 50 Million obtained as a compensation. Mr. Okram Ibobi obviously is under the illusion that Manipur is his personal property. A detail report of this was published on the Indian Newspaper, the Times of India, dated 31st Oct 2013.It was indeed a well orchestrated sellout of the territorial integrity of Manipur hatched by both the state & the centre with the blessing of the INC. The hoarse shrill of territorial integrity by the INC to woo the public in order to champion himself as the savior of Manipur is indeed laughable.He may fool some all the time but he certainly cannot fool some. We stand to fight the anti people fascist attitude of Mr. Okram Ibobi and the INC. It is also very obvious that his reign of Manipur for the last 15 years under the patron of INC was the worst phase in the history of Manipur and it won’t be an exaggeration if we compare his reign with that of the seven years devastation of Manipur at the hands of the Burmese(chahee taret khuntakpa).Some of the notorious achievement of his reign includes the brutal suppression of the indigenous people, the polarization of Chingmee Tammee, the emergence of explosive Narco trade, the brutal genocide of his own people etc.
So we, the Struggle Committee, formed by a conglomerate other antifascist groups piloted by the Socialist Students Union Manipur, earnestly & ardently request the public of Manipur to join us at this Torch Rally on the 28th Feb 2017 raising our voice in unison with these slogans
-Yelhoumi kallu-Yelhoumi nattaba mioina Leingak Mapu oiba yaraoi
-Loktak-phumthakta Saba Ngami kayagi yum mei thakhibada chennaba amadi wathok asiga mari leinana senja thumjada chennaba Okram Kenedy Cheirak Piyu
-Airport ta Drugs Phabagi wathokta chennariba Henary amadi Tarpon cheirak piyu
-Khwairamband Mihat hairaga khangnariba Sanjit Rabina-gi mihatta Assembly-da hatpa nattana upai leite haina Laokhiba Okram Ibobi meeyamda lalle haina sengdok-u
-Manipur-gi ngamkhei kannaba Indian Constitution-gi Article 3 Amend touramdabagi maram Congress Party-na sengdok-U
(First published as an editorial in People’s Daily, organ of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China on 5 July 1967.)
A peal of spring thunder has crashed over the land of India. Revolutionary peasants in the Darjeeling area have risen in rebellion. Under the leadership of a revolutionary group of the Indian Communist Party a red area of rural revolutionary armed struggle has been established in India. This is a development of tremendous significance for the Indian people’s revolutionary struggle.
In the past few months, the peasant masses in this area, led by the revolutionary group of the Indian Communist Party, have thrown off the shackles of modern revisionism and smashed the trammels that bound them. They have seized grain, land and weapons from the landlords and plantation owners, punished the local tyrants and wicked gentry, and ambushed the reactionary troops and police that went to suppress them thus demonstrating the enormous might of the peasants’ revolutionary armed struggle. All imperialists, revisionists, corrupt officials, local tyrants and wicked gentry, and reactionary army and police are nothing in the eyes of the revolutionary peasants who are determined to strike them down to the dust. The absolutely correct thing has been done by the revolutionary group of the Indian Communist Party and they have done it well. The Chinese people joyfully applaud this revolutionary storm of the Indian peasants in the Darjeeling area as do all Marxist-Leninists and revolutionary people of the whole world.
It is an inevitability that the Indian peasants will rebel and the Indian people will make revolution because the reactionary Congress rule has left them with no alternative. India under Congress rule is only nominally independent; in fact, it is nothing more than a semi-colonial, semi-feudal country. The Congress administration represents the interests of the Indian feudal princes, big landlords and bureaucrat-comprador capitalists. Internally, it oppresses the Indian people without any mercy and suck their blood, while internationally it serves the new boss, U.S. imperialism, and its number one accomplice, the Soviet revisionist ruling clique, in addition to its old suzerain British Imperialism, thus selling out the national interests of India in a big way. So imperialism, Soviet revisionism, feudalism and bureaucrat-comprador capitalism weigh like big mountains on the backs of the Indian people, especially on the toiling masses of workers and peasants.
The Congress administration has intensified its suppression and exploitation of the Indian people and pursued a policy of national betrayal during the past few years. Famine has stalked the land year after year. The fields are strewn with the bodies of those who have died of hunger and starvation. The Indian people, above all, the Indian peasants, have found life impossible for them. The revolutionary peasants in the Darjeeling area have now risen in rebellion, in violent revolution. This is the prelude to a violent revolution by the hundreds of millions of people throughout India. The Indian people will certainly cast away these big mountains off their backs and win complete emancipation. This is the general trend of Indian history which no force on earth can check or hinder.
What road is to be followed by the Indian revolution? This is a fundamental question affecting the success of the Indian revolution and the destiny of the 500 million Indian people. The Indian revolution must take the road of relying on the peasants, establishing base areas in the countryside, persisting in protracted armed struggle and using the countryside to encircle and finally capture the cities. This is Mao Tse-tung’s road, the road that has led the Chinese revolution to victory, and the only road to victory for the revolutions of all oppressed nations and peoples.
Our great leader, Chairman Mao Tse-tung, pointed out as long as 40 years ago: “In China’s central, southern and northern provinces, several hundred million peasants will rise like a mighty storm, like a hurricane, a force so swift and violent that no power, however great, will be able to hold it back. They will smash all the trammels that bind them and rush forward along the road to liberation. They will sweep all the imperialists, warlords, corrupt officials, local tyrants and evil gentry into their graves.”
Chairman Mao explicitly pointed out long ago that the peasant question occupies an extremely important place in the people’s revolution. The peasants constitute the main force in the national-democratic revolution against imperialism and its lackeys; they are most reliable and numerous allies of the proletariat. India is a vast semi-colonial and semi-feudal country with a population of 500 million, the absolute majority of which, the peasantry, once aroused, will become the invincible force of the Indian revolution. By integrating itself with peasants, the Indian proletariat will be able to bring about earth-shaking changes in the vast countryside of India and defeat any powerful enemy in a soul-stirring people’s war.
Our great leader, Chairman Mao, teaches us: “The seizure of power by armed force, the settlement of the issue by war, is the central task and the highest form of revolution. This Marxist-Leninist principle of revolution holds good universally, for China and for all other countries.”
The specific nature of the Indian revolution, like that of the Chinese revolution, is armed revolution fighting against armed counter-revolution; Armed struggle is the only correct road for the Indian revolution; there is no other road whatsoever. Such trash as “Gandhi-ism”, “parliamentary road” and the like are opium used by the Indian ruling classes to paralyse the Indian people. Only by relying on violent revolution and taking the road of armed struggle can India be saved and the Indian people achieve complete liberation. Specifically, this is to arouse the peasant masses boldly, build up and expand the revolutionary armed forces, deal blows at the armed suppression of the imperialists and reactionaries, who are temporarily stronger than the revolutionary forces, by using the whole set of the flexible strategy and tactics of people’s war personally worked out by Chairman Mao, and to persist in protracted armed struggle and seize victory of the revolution step by step.
In the light of the characteristics of the Chinese revolution, our great leader, Chairman Mao, has pointed out the importance of establishing revolutionary rural base areas. Chairman Mao teaches us: In order to persist in protracted armed struggle and defeat imperialism and its lackeys, “it is imperative for the revolutionary ranks to turn the backward villages into advanced, consolidated base areas, into great military, political, economic and cultural bastions of the revolution from which to fight their vicious enemies who are using the cities for attacks on the rural districts, and in this way gradually to achieve the complete victory of the revolution through protracted fighting.”
India is country with vast territory; its countryside, where the reactionary rule is weak, provides the broad areas in which the revolutionaries can manoeuvre freely. So long as the Indian proletarian revolutionaries adhere to the revolutionary line of Marxism-Leninism, Mao Tse-tung’s Thought and rely on their great ally, the peasants, it is entirely possible for them to establish one advanced revolutionary rural base area after another in the broad backward rural areas and build a people’s army of a new type. Whatever difficulties and twists and turns the Indian revolutionaries may experience in the course of building such revolutionary base areas, they will eventually develop such areas from isolated points into a vast expanse, from small areas into extensive ones, an expansion in a series of waves. Thus, a situation in which the cities are encircled from the countryside will gradually be brought about in the Indian revolution to pave the way for the final seizure of towns and cities and winning nation-wide victory.
The Indian reactionaries are panic-stricken by the development of the rural armed struggle in Darjeeling. They have sensed imminent disaster and they wail in alarm that the peasants’ revolt in Darjeeling will “become a national disaster.” Imperialism and the Indian reactionaries are trying in a thousand and one ways to suppress this armed struggle of the Darjeeling peasants and nip it in the bud. The Dange renegade clique and revisionist chieftains of the Indian Communist Party are vigorously slandering and attacking the revolutionaries in the Indian Communist Party and the revolutionary peasants in Darjeeling for their great exploits. The so-called “non-Congress” government in West Bengal openly sides with the reactionary Indian Government in its bloody suppression of the revolutionary peasants in Darjeeling. This gives added proof that these renegades and revisionists are running dogs of U.S. imperialism and Soviet revisionism and lackeys of the big Indian landlords and bourgeoisie. What they call the “Non-Congress government” is only a tool of the landlords and bourgeoisie.
But no matter how well the imperialists, Indian reactionaries and the modern revisionists may cooperate in their sabotage and suppression, the torch of armed struggle lighted by the revolutionaries in the Indian Communist Party and the revolutionary peasants in Darjeeling will not be put out. “A single spark can start a prairie fire”. The spark in Darjeeling will start a prairie fire and will certainly set the vast expanses of India ablaze. That a great storm of revolutionary armed struggle will eventually sweep across the length and breadth of India is certain. Although the course of the Indian revolutionary struggle will be long and tortuous, the Indian revolution, guided by great Marxism-Leninism, Mao Tse-tung’s Thought, will surely triumph.
Source : Libration, India