Maoists ask Chhattisgarh voters to boycott poll
Decrying the election system in the country, the CPI (Maoist) has officially boycotted the coming Assembly election in Chhattisgarh. Describing elections as a “big lie” the banned outfit has “appealed” to the voters to “boycott the poll” and support the alternative government of the Maoists in Dandakarnya – the 40,000-square kilometre area spread across central India – region and other States.
The Maoist communiqué, dated October 10, signed by the spokesperson of the party in Dandakarnya, Gudsa Usendi, was released on Tuesday. While asking the residents of Dandakarnya to boycott the poll, the rebels have not clearly indicated (in the release) if they are going to punish or impose any penalty on the electors, if they vote. Interestingly, in 2011, in the West Bengal Assembly election, while giving a boycott call, the Maoists made sure that the Trinamool Congress (TMC) won in areas partly dominated by the CPI-Maoist, in the western part of the State. In fact, the slain Maoist leader, Kishenji, openly declared his support for Mamata Banerjee, the chief of TMC, before the 2011 elections. As a result, the TMC and its allies won seven of the 14 seats in the Maoist areas, previously always won by the CPI(Marxist) (CPI-M).
May stop BJP run
Observers believe that if the Maoists, who are clearly not averse to elections as witnessed in the West Bengal poll, encourage the locals to vote freely, it may create severe problems for the ruling party in Chhattisgarh. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had won 11 out of 12 seats in partially Maoist controlled districts of south Chhattisgarh in the last election, which finally defeated the main opposition, Congress. It is believed, if the Maoists allow a “free election” in areas controlled by them, like in West Bengal, the rebels may actually spoil the BJP’s dream to complete a hat-trick in Chhattisgarh. But since the Maoists’ experiment with the TMC failed, it remains to be seen whether the rebels adopt a Bengal-formula to help the opposition in Chhattisgarh or prefer to remain neutral.
Lady Maoist cadre arrested
A lady Maoist carrying a cash award was arrested from her in-laws’ house in Kanker district of Chhattisgarh today, police said. Sonai Boga (26) was nabbed from her in laws’ place at Bhursatrahul village under Bhanupratappur police station limits, sub-Divisional Officer of Police Tarkeshwar Patel said. Acting on a tip-off about Boga visiting her in-laws, police surrounded the village and rounded her up from the house, he said. She was active in the border region of Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh and was also allegedly involved in several cases of loot, arson and attack on police patrols, Patel said.
Maoists kill ex-cadre in Odisha
A Maoist, who had surrendered before the police along with five others last month, was killed by the rebels in Malkangiri district, the police said today. The Maoists dragged Raju Hantal of Siliguma village out of his house on the night of October 12 and took him with them. The villagers found his body bearing marks of sharp weapon in the nearby forests the next day, a delayed police report said. Siliguma under Paparmetla police station area is located in a remote area across Chitrakonda reservoir. “Yes, we have got information about the killing”, Malkangiri Superintendent of Police Akhileswar Singh said. The Maoists had asked Hantal the reason behind his surrender and why he had spoken against them, the police quoted the villagers as saying.
Maoists hint at violence during Chhattisgarh polls, say counter offensive inevitable
RAIPUR: The outlawed Communist Party of India (Maoist) on Tuesday indicated the possibility of violence during the upcoming assembly polls in Chhattisgarh saying that a ‘counter offensive’ has become inevitable because of repressive measures being adopted by the security forces in the region. In a ‘custom-made’ exhaustive interview of Dandakaranya special zonal committee secretary comrade Ramanna, which was sent to newspapers by email, the rebels declared, “Like in all the previous polls, government has deployed large number of forces that are resorting to repressive measures during its so-called search operations.
In such a situation, people will counter it for their self-defence.” Elaborating on why the Maoists have called for a poll boycott, Ramanna argued that elections were just a farce and the process was not going to establish an exploitation-free society. Referring to the rumors that Maoists had decided to chop off the fingers of those who ignored their poll boycott call, the Dandanaranya special zonal committee secretary said, “It’s a ridiculous propaganda by vested interests. In the past 33 years of Dandakaranya’s struggle, neither such a threat was issued nor did any such incident take place. Ours is a political movement and the goal will be achieved only by creating awareness.” “On the other hand, it’s the government which has been resorting to such tactics. Its leaders normally try to force voters to exercise their franchise and threaten them that they would be booked on the charges of Naxalite violence or their ration cards would be forfeited if they don’t cast their vote,” he claimed.
Mobile towers on trucks to link Bastar interiors
RAIPUR: For the first time, BSNL’s mobile towers will be erected on trucks and stationed at various places amidst heavy security in remote Naxalite affected tribal Bastar region with an aim to ensure uninterrupted communication during mid November assembly polls in Chhattisgarh. Chhattisgarh police and public sector telecom service provider have reached an understanding for providing such an arrangement in the interiors of Bastar where the rebels often unleash trouble during polls by disrupting movement of polling parties and targeting communication facilities. The decision came in the wake of Maoists stepping up violence in Bastar region, including the May 25 rebel attack that had eliminated frontline Congress leaders. In the past, there were incidents of rebels blowing up mobile towers, top police sources said.
“There are intelligence inputs about Maoists declaring to boycott elections, hence, temporary arrangement will be made to erect mobile towers on trucks and send them to interior areas of Bastar which do not have communication facilities at all or in the sensitive areas where there is a risk of Maoist attack”, they said. During the first phase of polling, police sources said, there are many such polling stations which do not have communication equipment and facilities.
This becomes a challenge for security forces to update about the situation or immediately act in the event of any crisis. “This way the forces, polling parties and electoral authority won’t face communication barrier. A proposal was sent to the BSNL following which, the decision came. The towers will help communication for mobile phones as well as wireless sets used by the police,” a top official said. He said that one mobile tower will help connect to another located in a radius of five kilometers. However, the details of its deployment would be kept secret due to security reasons.
Parallel bandhs in Manipur
Two separate bandhs will begin tonight in Manipur. Firts, an 18-hour shutdown in Manipur and Tripura announced by the CorCoM and NLFT in protest against the merger of the then kingdoms of Manipur and Twipra (Tripura) with the dominion India on October 15, 1949, will begin Monday midnight. The Coordinating Committee of six Manipur based militant groups: the Revolutionary People’s Front/People’s Liberation Army (RPF/PLA), United National Liberation Front (UNLF), Kanglei Yaon Kanna Lup (KYKL), Kangleipak Communist Party (KCP), People’s Revolutionary Party of Kangleipak (PREPAK) and PREPAK-Progressive and National Liberation front of Twipra have jointly called for the 18-hour shutdown in the two states against the merger agreements.
Essential services such as water supply, medical and religious activities, and media will not be within the purview of the strike, they informed. Separately, the Maoist Communist Party of Manipur has also announced a parallel 12-hour Manipur general strike.