People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


Vol. XXXIV

No. 06

February 07, 2010

 Orissa: Maoists Murder CPI(M) Activists

 

Dusmanta Kumar De

 

ON January 23, a group of Maoist terrorists murdered Ananda Masihoro, a two time Zilla Parishad member of the CPI(M), at Bonai in Sundargarh district of Orissa. The Maoists had kidnapped him a day earlier, on the eve of the election on January 22, and kept him deep in the Serenda forest. The demand of the Maoists was that Comrade Anand Horo must dissociate himself from the CPI(M) as well as the CITU and also persuade about 3000 tribal villagers from five panchayat areas to do the same. These tribal people are, for the last seven weeks, living in a camp in front of K Balang police station to escape the Maoist attacks.

Two days later, on January 25, Maoists abducted at gunpoint Comrade Thomas Munda, a leader of the CPI(M) and CITU in the Kalta iron ore mines in Sundergarh district. The abduction took place when the comrade was working in the mines along with other workers.

On that fateful day, about 30 Maoists came armed with AK-47 rifles and other lethal weapons, threatened the workers in Kalta iron ore mines in Kalta township and went on rampage, terrorising people in and around.

Comrade Thomas Munda was brutally killed and his body was thrown about five kilometres away from the Renjada railway station on January 28, and the nearby people came to know of it at 5 pm on January 29. Comrade Thomas Munda has left behind his wife, two unmarried daughters and two sons.

Such atrocities of the Maoists against the common people and the CPI(M) have been continuing for over one year now. On March 17 last year, they had killed Rabi Oran, a CPI(M) branch secretary and a popular leader of the tribal masses, in the Renjada railway siding.

Ten days later, on March 27, they looted the houses of the villagers in the same area. Since December, however, their attacks on the CPI(M) have registered an increase. After burning two party offices in the area on December 9, they mercilessly beat and fatally injured five villagers. In protest against this rampage, about a thousand people gheraoed the K Balang police station and demanded police protection, which eventually did not come. Then, about three thousand people squatted before the police station for over a month, braving biting cold of minus five degree Celsius, in which six persons died due to cold.

What is deplorable is that, instead of providing protection to the people, even the police-CRPF camp was withdrawn, with the result that the killing spree and atrocities by the Maoists have multiplied. While condemning the gruesome killing of Ananda Masihoro, the Orissa state committee of the CPI(M) has demanded that adequate police protection be provided at Kaita, Roxy and Renjra.

The situation in the area is that eight panchayat areas, namely Kalta, Jamdih, Soyamba, K Balang, Relhatu, Gopna, Chandiposh and Darjing, are facing the brunt of Maoist depredations over the last five years. These panchayat areas, located along the Orissa border with Jharkhand, are strong bases of the CPI(M) which has been winning seats in the Zilla Parisad, Kolda panchayat samiti and other bodies in those places, including the block chairman, sarpanch and other posts, for the last 15 to 20 years. During the last assembly election, Maoists worked at the behest of the BJP as well as the Congress to influence the voting pattern against the CPI(M) candidate Lakhan Munda who thus got defeated by nearly three thousand votes.

Apart from attacking the CPI(M) leaders and cadres in this area, the Maoists are terrorising the ordinary workers and other people as well. On the other hand, the government of Orissa has withdrawn the CRPF and police force from these areas, which has facilitated the entry of gun-wielding Maoists from Jharkhand. The mine owners and contractors too are heavily financing the Maoists. The result is that normal life in the area has come to a standstill in absence of any administration. The Maoists have targeted not only the CPI(M) and CITU offices, as at Kalta, Toda and Roxi, but also attacked and put to fire the forest beat houses, schools, primary health centres, panchayat offices and mobile towers in the area. These attacks on common people are taking place in the broad daylight. On January 29, when Janardan Pati, Lambodar Nayak, Banamali Dhupal and other leaders of the CPI(M) visited Thomas Mundas family, they found that Maoists had also butchered a Church padri, Johann Munda, in the same village and left his body along with Maoist posters in a street.

At the call of the CPI(M), protest day was observed in the area on February 1. The CPI(M) has urged upon the local people to oppose terrorism and stand united against the Maoists. (INN)