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Maoists' actions or protests haven't been in integration with broad people’s movements

By Harsh Thakor* 

Since the beginning of last month there were several reports of guerrilla activities engulfing numerous territories of India, comprising ongoing People’s War lead by the Communist Party of India (Maoist). It claims it has struck the enemy and delivered mortal blows in the very belly of the rulers. A virtual war of attrition and contention is being waged, with possibly both sides exaggerating their claims. The revolutionary media, particularly ’Red Herald’ gave an effect of new script written in the people’s war in India.
Majority these actions are linked with the struggle embraced and waged by the Maoists with the tribals and poor peasantry against the penetration of corporate tyranny of the big construction companies, big mining companies, etc., which are creating a death knell to the lives of the Indian peasantry. In Rayagada, Odisha, Maoists planted some banners on Sunday 8th of July, on the road between Serakapadi and Niyamgiri demanding the ceasing of the constructions being launched in these areas. They also demanded the ceasing of exploitation of peasants of the area in the hills of the Niyamgiri and Sasubahumali villages. The Maoist guerrillas gave another similar warning against Dharmararao Baba Atram, who is a new Minister of the State of Maharashtra, and is responsible of opening six new mines in the district of Gadchiroli.
In the State of Chhattisgarh the state is admitting its inability to contain the People’s War. According to a senior intelligence official of the neighbouring State of Maharashtra, the CPI (Maoist) recruited and trained around 1,250 new combatants in Chhattisgarh. and the Maoist forces have magnified by up to 6 times in the districts of Dantewada and Sukma and in South Bastar. The official is expressing tremors in the camp of the rulers in the light of the rising striking capacity of the CPI (Maoist). They are especially concerned about the imminent threat in the district of Gadchiroli in the west of Maharashtra, which shares a 180km border with Chhattisgarh.
In the State of Chhattisgarh the state is admitting its inability to contain the People’s War. According to a senior intelligence official of the neighbouring State of Maharashtra, the CPI (Maoist) recruited and trained around 1,250 new combatants in Chhattisgarh. and the Maoist forces have magnified by up to 6 times in the districts of Dantewada and Sukma and in South Bastar. The official is expressing tremors in the camp of the rulers in the light of the rising striking capacity of the CPI (Maoist). They are especially concerned about the imminent threat in the district of Gadchiroli in the west of Maharashtra, which shares a 180km border with Chhattisgarh.
The State of Jharkhand is the area encompassing most of the Maoist activities and where the Indian State is leaving no stone unturned now to try to crush the People’s War. The anti-Maoist operation continues in full swing.

Important Actions

In Sukma district, on June 27th, an area committee leader of the CPI(Maoist) was assassinated by security forces. On Wednesday the 12th of July, in the Indian State of Jharkhand, forces under the leadership of the Communist Party of India (Maoist) carried out an ambush against an “anti-Maoist operation” by the old Indian State. Forces from the CoBRA battalion, Jharkhand Jaguar and the district armed police were carrying out a joint operation in the West Singhbhum district when the Maoist combatants opened fire on them. A deputy commandant of the CoBRA battalion was shot and injured and none of the Maoists were taken.
The CoBRA battalion is under the authority of the Central Government of India, while the Jharkhand Jaguar is under the State Government of Jharkhand. Both are Special Forces formed to attempt to combat the People’s War. The joint operation has been ongoing in Jharkhand since the 11th of January. The goal of the operation is capturing five suspected top Maoist leaders, including an alleged member of the politburo of the CPI (Maoist).
In the State of Chhattisgarh, on Sunday 23rd of July, the Maoist guerrillas detained and executed a police informer. This occurred in the district of Narayanpur. Chhattisgarh is one of the areas where the biggest shivers are sent down the spine to the Indian State. In the State of Chattisgarh, the Indian State is unable to crush the Maoist activity, and, , even the Maoist presence is being increased. Map of the States which are forming the Indian State. Source: Maximilian Dörrbecker (Chumwa).
On the 17th of July one Indian police officer was injured after he triggered an Improvised Explosive Device (IED). Afterwards, the Indian Police deployed a huge number of policemen to try to detect and capture Maoists in the area. But after one week they have not obtained big results. On 24th of July another police officer was injured in the same circumstances than the previous one, by an explosion of an IED.
The Maoists guerrillas carried out further actions in the State of Jharkhand: on Wednesday 19Th of July a group of Maoist guerrillas raided a camp of a construction company and set fire to an excavator in the village of Tungun, district of Chatra. The same day, in the district of Latehar, a police informer was executed. The guerrillas propagated that the locals should concentrate on the problems of the people, like the forced evictions of the peasantry.
The casualties inflicted on the side of the repressive forces of the Indian State are in retaliation to reactionary offensive against the People’s War, which is being extended to several States simultaneously. By the end of June there are reports depicting the replenishing of forces of the CPI (Maoist) in the area of Magadh, State of Bihar. The Indian State has detained several so called Maoists.
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) arrested two persons on July 23rd for their alleged involvement in a CPI (Maoist) attack on security forces near Tiriya village in Chhattisgarh state in July 2019.The accused wereb identified as Kandula Sirisha and Duddu Prabhakar. The agency has arrested six persons in the case so far.
According to the NIA, both the accused were working closely with top leaders of the Maoist party and its different frontal organizations. Incriminating materials related to the activities of CPI (Maoist) cadres were earlier detected by the NIA during searches at the premises of the two accused. A cadre of the CPI (Maoist) was killed in a firefight with security personnel in Chhattisgarh’s Bijapur district on July 23rd, police reported. The scuffle took place at around 7 am at a forested hill near Kesamundi village under the Bhairamgarh police station limits when a joint team of security personnel was conducting an anti-Maoist operation, a senior police official stated.
Acting on information about the presence of 10-15 armed cadres of the Bhairamgarh Area Committee of the CPI (Maoist) in the forests surrounding Potenar-Kesamundi villages, personnel belonging to District Reserve Guard (DRG), Bastar Fighters and CRPF’s 222nd battalion launched the operation on Friday night. A pitched gun battle took place between security personnel and a squad of cadres belonging to the CPI (Maoist) in Sukma district of Chhattisgarh state on Saturday. The encounter broke in the forest of village Chhotekedwal, located in a Maoist stronghold on the border of Chintagufa and Kistaram police station limits, when security personnel were out on an anti-Maoist operation, a police official said.
The operation was launched based on inputs about the presence of Divisional Committee member and in charge of Kistaram Area Committee of the CPI (Maoist) Raju and in-charge of platoon number 8 Masa along with 30-35 cadres in Chhotekedwal, Badekedwal and Singhanmadgu villages to observe the Maoist party’s martyrs’ week.
The Maoists unleashed fire on security personnel and faced retaliation, he said, adding that the one-hour firefight resulted in four to six Maoists getting injured or killed. In the last week the Communist Party of India (Maoist) [CPI (Maoist)] undertook a series of actions against the Indian State for the commemoration of the Martyrs’ Week, which began on 28th of July, and ended on 3rd of August.
The Martyrs’ Week is commemorated annually as from 28th of July because it is the date on which the Indian communist leader Charu Mazumdar was martyred at the hands of the Indian State in the year 1972. The Indian State as a precautionary step, embarked on several security operations, which invited numerous counter actions by the CPI (Maoist). In the district of Malkangiri, Odisha, on the border with Telangana and Chhattisgarh, an operation involving Special Forces, local paramilitaries, etc. was launched. A similar type of security operation was prepared for the district of Bastar, in Chhattisgarh.
In spite of the treacherous hurdles imposed by the Indian State, the Maoist guerrillas undertook several actions. One of the first activities was when they galvanised the people to join the mobilizations, placing banners and posters, and distributed pamphlets, especially in Odisha, in the district of Bargarh. After this, the publication of the second volume of a book on the members of the Central Committee who have given their lives for the revolution,was released Since the beginning of Martyrs’ Week, the Indian state hammered every nail in the wall to disable communications between Odisha and bordering areas like Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Chhattisgarh. Many companies cancelled their bus routes from the first day, because in other years transports were halted by Maoist guerrillas in these commemorations.
On 29th of July there was an encounter with Maoist guerrillas and a gunfight in the district of Sukma in Chhattisgarh. The Indian State claimed that they had caused six casualties to the CPI (Maoist), although there had no sufficient prove. On the same day in the district of Kalahandi, Odisha, an IED (Improvised Explosive Device) blew up making Special Forces and police officers to flee while they were conducting a search operation for Maoist guerrillas.
The Martyrs’ Week terminated with massive public events on 2nd and 3rd of August in Telangana, opening with a tribute to the deceased comrade of the Central Committee, Anand. In addition, the families of Maoist martyrs were introduced, the “Brahmanical Hindutva fascist character of the Indian State” was denounced, and various cultural events were held.

Analysis

The campaigns are being ruthlessly administered and their results are being exaggerated by the Indian State. Many students and activista even for possessing Marxist books, are branded as ‘Maoists and detained.’ The Indian State is fabricating many common people just to intimidate any people’s resistance. The CPI (Maoist) stated that around one third of the casualties, caused to the Maoist guerrillas in alleged encounters with the Indian State during the last year., were fake. These fake casualties were caused by diseases, old ages or other contexts. Therefore, the Indian State is magnifying the figures and the impact of their anti-guerrilla operations.
According to Indian media, the Maoists have stated that they have responded well to the aerial attacks and surveillance in Chhattisgarh with their counter strategy. In my view we are witnessing tendencies of Maoists, eulogising their successes or capabilities as well as the state overestimating the danger posed by Maoists and exaggerating its success in crushing the rebellion. The goal of the state is to use the Maoist movement as a pretext of mercilessly crushing all people’s resistance to economic neo-fascism or corporate terror. Possibly, it is exaggerating the penetration of the Maoists, to give the ‘terrorist’ tag to genuine movements of tribals, and renew life to the neo-fascist agenda.
Whatever the daunting courage mustered or heroic sacrifices of the CPI (Maoist), the subjective factors are lagging behind of the Maoists to challenge the might of the state. Many of the armed actions lack centralisation, and not coherent with an agrarian evolution. No doubt the Maoists have given sustained armed resistance to corporate neo-fascism and heroically withstood or retaliated the police forces, but their actions or protests have not been in integration with broad people’s movements. There is hardly any base of the movement amongst industrial workers or establishment of worker-peasant community.
It is debatable whether such actions are enhancing the striking capacity o the tribals and peasants or the nucleus of people’s power. More and more the state intelligence through surveillance is infiltrating the Maoist network. It is important that the movement is studied within the telescope of human rights activists in Chattisgarh like Bela Bhatia or Himanshu Roy and Adivasis of Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand, who float from farming to mining operations. They can unravel the actual democratic content; to prevent revolutionary intellectuals from being swayed by propaganda, either way. Such forces can also reveal how the state is using the Maoist movement to shatter the civil liberties movements.
Whatever my admiration for laudable reports of blogs like Red Herald or Red Spark .they unable to properly make a judgement, in light of the massline ,giving one sided emphasis to military aspect, failing to assess subjective factors, and failing to place it ‘s relation with the agrarian movements.
---
Harsh Thakor is a freelance journalist who has covered mass movements around India

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