India and Naxalite violence: The Red Corridor – or Blood Corridor, expanding or contracting – winning hearts and minds ?!!

Cong sets up panel to study The Red Threat

, April 4: Congress leaders in the state are worried.

Following the Maoist diktat to either oppose Operation Greenhunt or face action, a nervous state unit of the party today set up a committee to look into the situation and suggest possible measures the party could adopt to counter it.

The extremists reportedly threatened action against Congressmen if they did not oppose the anti-Maoist operations.

“The Maoists have already executed their threat by killing Dalbhumgarh block president Govardhan Mahli last week,” Congress state president Pradeep Balmuchu told The Telegraph.

He added that around 24 members of Chhatarpur block in Palamau, including block president Gopal Prasad Singh, had resigned four days ago after they were told by the rebels to either oppose the operations or quit the party.

Former Chhatarpur MLA Radha Krishna Kishore has been made convenor of the five-member committee, which also comprises former deputy chief minister Stephen Marandi, Rajya Sabha member Dheeraj Prasad Sahu, Minority Commission chairman Gulfam Mujibi and former MLA Niel Tirkey.

Balmuchu said extremism had taken on serious proportions in Jharkhand with chief minister Shibu Soren issuing contradictory statements on Operation Greenhunt. “He has sullied the state’s image,” Balmuchu alleged.

According to the Congress state president, the committee will submit a report that will list the political and social workers killed in Naxalite violence over the years.

“Congress workers have been targeted after the operation was launched against Maoists,” Balmuchu said.
Balmuchu said Maoists, who were using tribals as human shields, could never be well-wishers of the tribals.
“They are using tribals to kill fellow tribals. Mahli was a popular social and political worker. But, instead of killing a tribal, they should hold a dialogue with the Centre,” Balmuchu maintained.
Though he could not explain the real motive behind setting up the committee, sources said the purpose was to convince the Centre to launch a full-blown war against the Maoists. “The committee will decide the state Congress response to the rebel threat,” pointed out a member of the committee.
“The police cannot be expected to give security to each and every individual. So, stamping out the Maoists is the only option. It is now or never like situation for us if we have to survive,” said the Congress leader.
He said that it was strange that the Maoists were tolerating the BJP that was ideologically opposed to CPI (Maoists) and targeting the Congress instead.

Balmuchu said there is a pattern in the selection of political workers being killed or threatened by the Maoists.
“Most of the attacks have taken place in border areas, which is a safe zone for Maoists. Also, the Naxalite operations on the borders are run by senior Maoist leaders. Dalbhumgarh happens to be on the Jharkhand-Bengal border while Chhatarpur is on the Jharkhand-Bihar border,” he said.


Posted on 2010/04/09, in The World Today and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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