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Alarm bells ringing within & across borders

Sadeq Khan

The propaganda rocket so confidently launched by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina after return from Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) in Milan, Italy, claiming international recognition of “legitimacy” of the impugned, 10th parliament, ruling out fresh polls under a neutral caretaker administration, and rejecting scope of any dialogue with BNP-led non-parliamentary opposition appears to have lost steam in no time both in internal and external reckoning.

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Sadeq Khan

The propaganda rocket so confidently launched by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina after return from Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) in Milan, Italy, claiming international recognition of “legitimacy” of the impugned, 10th parliament, ruling out fresh polls under a neutral caretaker administration, and rejecting scope of any dialogue with BNP-led non-parliamentary opposition appears to have lost steam in no time both in internal and external reckoning.

The Prime Minister had firmly told reporters in Gano Bhaban at a press conference on October 24 that the election respectively of Speaker Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury and MP Saber Hossain Chowdhury as presidents of Commonwealth Parliamentary Association and Inter-Parliamentary Union prove there is no question in the western countries about the January 5 parliamentary elections: “When I met German chancellor and other world leaders, they did not raise any questions about the January 5 elections.”

Hasina’s claims debunked by UN & UK
Rejecting the possibility of holding any dialogue with the BNP-led opposition over holding a general election under a non-party administration, the Prime Minister had posed a counter question to reporters: “They tried to kill me, why are you pressing us to sit with people who had wanted to kill me?” The propaganda machine of the ruling party had for long been set on motion to denounce Zia as the mastermind behind Mujib-killing in 1975, and Khaleda, as the authority who signalled surreptitious go-ahead to August 21, 2004 grenade attack on Sheikh Hasina’s public meeting killing 22 Awami League leaders and activists.
Earlier on October 3, on her return from UN General Assembly also she had told the press that BNP founder Ziaur Rahman, its incumbent chairperson Khaleda Zia and Jatiya Party Chairman HM Ershad were all killers, and no one should hold talks with killers: “Nevertheless, I made an offer to BNP chairperson to sit for a dialogue in national interest (to resolve political crisis before January 5 polls). Now, neither we nor the country are facing any political setback. So we cannot hold talks with those who assigned jobs to the assassins of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and his family members.” With reference to earlier reservations officially expressed by UN Secretary General’s office about January 5 elections, the Prime Minister told reporters that the issue did not come up during her meeting with the United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon: “They did not ask the government for the talks as, maybe, they do not see any problem.”
The last claim was the first to be contradicted by Ban Ki-Moon’s office, which responded to a press enquiry by suggesting that Ban Ki-Moon’s meeting with Sheikh Hasina was just a photo session and there was no discussion beyond courtesy exchanges. Similar contradictions came about the substance of her meeting in London with British Prime Minister David Cameron. Foreign Office in London published a website statement reiterating the reservations of the United Kingdom over the election held on January 5 calling it “disappointing” that half of the constituencies were not contested. On October 27, in a seminar in the House of Lords, British MP Simon Danczuk went so far as to say Britain was “embarrassed” by the colour put on Hasina-Cameron meeting: An election in which 153 of 300 constituencies went “uncontested” having single candidates declared elected, and in the remaining constituencies one-sided polls were held practically “without voters” cannot be acceptable. A number of other British members of the House of Lords and the House of Commons echoed similar reservations about the unacceptability of January 5 polls and about the failure of democratic order in Bangladesh.

Potions of concoctions
But more than such external rebukes, internal despondency is having patent effects on the morale of Sheikh Hasina’s continuing administration, notwithstanding loud bravado and declarations of self-righteousness by her political protégés. The civil administration is all but paralysed, and only works under political push or for fat bribes. The police force and the Rapid Action Battalion, condemned at home and abroad for its “crossfire culture” of extrajudicial killing and barbaric torture, has now become institutionally identified as perpetrators or collaborators of organised crime, including life-threatening blackmails, contract murders and forced disappearances.
The resulting loss of fitness to genuinely enforce law has become evident in the latest invocation by the police of Special Powers Act to detain a large number of BNP youth leaders on the lame excuse of suspected acts of disorder planned by the detainees on the eve of a general strike that BNP had not called (in fact the ruling party including the Prime Minister had expressed sympathy for the cause of that general strike, precipitated by “blasphemy” of one of her ministers now expelled).
Social wretchedness is also evident from many newspaper stories published daily of violent family troubles and community feuds resulting in cycles of vindictive acts inflicted by torture, disfigurements and murders of individual victims or groups of individuals. Such is the inevitable by-product of the shadowy rule of political and criminal mafia and their protection rackets under which the common people are groaning today, while the upper crust of the ruling elite in the executive and the judiciary remain engrossed in collecting easy “spoils” of their position and enjoying “tyrannical” powers of their self-elevation above the law in the absence of any effective resistance from the mainstream opposition.
Indeed, Sheikh Hasina’s government may find enough gratification from the fact that collectively Khaleda Zia’s 20-party opposition alliance members or severally members of her own party BNP have so far not yet been able to put their acts together in organising an effective resistance to the misrule of the incumbents. But people did vote against Sheikh Hasina’s government by their feet during January 5 election, and are again on their feet to show their disdain for the ruling coterie and their propaganda tricks.

It’s a real jam
The large crowds that gathered to pray “magfirat” or forgiveness for the soul of convicted former Amir of Jamat-e-Islami, Professor Ghulam Azam were not just his party following but many ordinary citizens who forgave his anti-Bangladesh antecedents, remembered his contributions in language movement and were respectful of his honesty and religiosity if not his brand of politics.
Alarm bells are also ringing across our borders in Indian soil, as such bells are more loudly ringing in other disturbed parts of Asia and Africa long-suffering or freshly exposed to ravages of informal as well as regular wars of attrition. A string of organised preparatory dens of terrorist trainees encircling Bangladesh has been uncovered by West Bengal Police. Indian National Intelligence Agency has so far spotted sixty five secret camps in West Bengal districts and identified their purpose as reviving the Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) or ‘Banglabhai’ antecedent of terrorisation and subversion to destabilise Bangladesh.
While actual Bangladesh links have been suspected and some uncovered, the terror cells themselves reportedly comprise of Indian nationals coming from across Telengana to Assam, said to be having designs on Bangladesh in league with fugitive JMB contacts and trainees. The demoralised and corrupted police and political authorities of Bangladesh stand notified but not yet in possession of detailed reports from Indian authorities. Sheikh Hasina may also be in doubts about how much help and how much blame she may expect from the Modi government in Delhi which is not-so-friendly with the Mamata Government in West Bengal, or vice-versa. It is a real jam.


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Ghulam Azam was victim of his own politics

Faruque Ahmed

The death of Prof. Ghulam Azam as a convict of crimes against humanity at Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) Hospital prison cell on October 23 has raised more questions than closing his case dossier.

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Faruque Ahmed

The death of Prof. Ghulam Azam as a convict of crimes against humanity at Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) Hospital prison cell on October 23 has raised more questions than closing his case dossier.

The nonagenarian leader of Islamist movement and former Amir of Jamaat-e-Islami in Bangladesh who also enjoyed wide exposure to Muslim countries as a pan-Islamist scholar was serving a 90-year sentence at an age of 93 at the time of his death.
Meanwhile, the International Crime Tribunal (ICT) awarded death sentence to Maulana Matiur Rahman Nizami last week on similar charges of crimes against humanity during the liberation war; however all contested by the defense as framed up charges. Another verdict on Mir Qasim Ali is scheduled early this week on Sunday.

Controversy over Ghulam Azam
Ghulam Azam was tried on charges of genocide and other war crimes in 1971 when he actively campaigned against the liberation of Bangladesh and collaborated with the occupation forces to keep Pakistan united.
The ICT-1 awarded the verdict on July 15 last year and his appeal against the verdict to the Supreme Court was scheduled for hearing on December 2. His death from a massive heart attack however left the matter to be now finally resolved by history in an impassionate environment.
There is a widely held belief that the ruling party Awami League is holding war crime trial of its former political cohorts for switching sides to BNP led alliance although it helped Awami League to form the government in 1996 with overt support from Jamaat leader Ghulam Azam and his party men. 
So controversy ran high throughout the hearing of Ghulam Azam and other’s cases case as Jamaat held the claim that the trial is a political vendetta while in the court defence lawyers raised the quality of prosecution materials and the credibility of witnesses saying these were tailored to suit purpose. 
Defense lawyers said the charges were framed up to implicate Azam with the tragic war time tortures and killings to which he had no connection.
They said horrendous war crimes had taken place but the government is trying the wrong persons to eliminate its past political friends who have defected to anti-Awami League platform.  
Meanwhile many Islamic organizations, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty Internal and US government War Crimes Envoy Stephan Rap were among others who repeatedly urged Bangladesh government during the trial to ensure a transparent neutral trial.

Azam said he was a pol. leader, not a human right abuser
Defense lawyers complained of outside intervention to influence the trial process. Meanwhile the Skype conversation and e-mails on trial related matters as chronicled by Wikileak showed that the war crime charges against Salahuddin Quader Chowdury, Motiur Rahmab Nizami and Ghulam Azam were drafted for the court by an outsider from Belgium capital Brussels. The draft judgment of Delwar Hussan Sayeede’s case; which was closer to end had also come from the same source.
The court however ruled that it can take research assistance from outside and issued show cause notices on unauthorised use of court materials by some local and global media. The Bengali daily Amar Desh was closed and The Economist was asked to reply the show cause.
The rule said unauthorized use of court materials is punishable by law and not cognizable before the eyes of law. The ICT verdict thus remained above question and since it came from a duly constituted court, people got to accept it and we  also accept it; no matter the Gonojagoan Manch and such other pro-government activists’ forums held regular rallies to influence the court’s verdicts.
But the mammoth crowd that gathered at the Namaj-e-Janaza of Prof Gulam Azam at the Baitul Mukarram national mosque last week opened a different dimension about how to judge the man who died with war crimes tag on his neck.
Now the nation has an official verdict that says he was rather given a lesser sentence considering the old age while he actually deserved capital punishment. But the huge gathering at Baitul Mukarram which looked like a human sea staggering over city streets came as a stark reminder to people despite the enormity of war crime charges that he was equally loved and admired by many.
The question is now whether he was innocent that earned him the love from people or it was essentially a gathering of party men who came to the place to eulogize their leader on death.
Prof Azam however dismissed all war crimes charges that included planning, committing genocide, torture of people and killing of a police officer Shiru Mia and three other civilians. He maintained that whatever role he had played was that of a political leader and he was never been involved in activities stated as crimes against humanity.

Unlike Qadir, Azam’a was a public funeral
The prosecution mainly used newspaper cuttings against him in support of the charges but Azam’s lawyers maintained these only showed the profile of a political leader and a Peace Committee founder and so on.
Nowhere had they said Azam had killed a man or tortured others. He said he worked for Pakistan on ideological ground; there was noting criminal in that. But the prosecution said Ghulam Azam as the leader of Jamaat-e-Islami was a collaborator and he can’t disown the tragedy and political and moral responsibility of the killing of the millions. He got what he had deserved.
Setting aside the debate, Ghulam Azam’s public funeral however brought to the fore the highly divisive nature of the country’s politics where the man is despised as a notorious war criminal in one hand but also held high by many on the other.
And in the eyes of many this politics of divisiveness has its root inside and outside the country where people are at work to see Bangladesh is fighting internally to go away with their benefits.
Meanwhile, many people have raised the question as to why the government has allowed the public funeral for Prof Ghulam Azam unlike Abdul Qadir Mollah whose body was sent to his village home after execution under police escort and the burial was quite private at night keeping villagers at a distance.
Ghulam Azam’s family has a lot to thank the government for the political generosity which allowed it to hold a public burial and use it to prove the popularity of the man who is most disliked by people on war crime issues.
However some of the ruling party front organizations like Awami Ulema Parishad and Online Activists Forum tried to foil the funeral procession at Baitul Mukarram but finally kept out of the scene in view of the huge crowd that gathered on the occasion. 

Who gains – BNP or AL?
Meanwhile, political observers have raised question about BNP politics vis-à-vis Ghulam Azaam’s burial. Why any senior party leaders did not attend his Namaj-e-Jamaza is a big question that really remained shrouded in mystery despite the fact the Jamaat is a party which is a fighting the government together with BNP in the street.
It appeared that Awami League has won most people’s sympathy by allowing a trouble free public burial of Ghulam Azam but BNP lost to a large extent by failing to attend the Janaza and going without explaining why it made the choice to keep away from a funeral of the supreme leader of a major alliance partner.


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Latif Siddique’s sacrilegious outbursts and raising storm

Abu Hena

Sammilito Islami Dalsamuho, a platform of different Islamic organizations observed dawn –to dusk country–wide hartal on Sunday, 26 October, demanding arrest of Latif Siddique, the sacked minister of Sheikh Hasina’s hydra-headed cabinet and ousted member of Awami League Presidium, party’s highest policy making forum.

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Abu Hena

Sammilito Islami Dalsamuho, a platform of different Islamic organizations observed dawn –to dusk country–wide hartal on Sunday, 26 October, demanding arrest of Latif Siddique, the sacked minister of Sheikh Hasina’s hydra-headed cabinet and ousted member of Awami League Presidium, party’s highest policy making forum.

The alliance announced fresh protest program on Friday to be launched from the country’s mosques to drive home their demand. Various district courts of the country have issued warrant of arrest against the offender who suddenly came out with uncalled for derogatory remarks against Prophet Muhammad (sm) and eviscerated the holy institution of the Hajj.
Latif Siddique accompanied Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina as the senior most member of herunwieldy 185 member entourage to the UNGA which comprised 7 Ministers, 2 Advisers, 3 MPs, 18 ruling party officials, 15 officials from PM’s office, 8 from Foreign Ministry and 11 from other ministries, 20 security personnel, 13 members of PM’s media team, 10 other media personalities and 75 businessmen. The Permanent Mission of Bangladesh to the UN booked 80 luxurious rooms at the expensive Hotel Grand Hyatt on Park Avenue in New York. Sources said the cost of each member would be between Tk 3 lakh and Tk 5 lakh.
Such was the grand setting from which Latif Siddique, the senior most member of Sheikh Hasina’s mishmash cabinet delivered his well - planned and well publicized anti- Islamic canards which caused consternation and dismay to the 1.5 billion Muslim Umma who live mainly in 57 OIC countries and most other countries of the world including India which is home to 180 million Muslims. He chose to hit at the sacred institution of Hajj at a time when 2 million Muslims were performing Hajj in Makkah. He did with a purpose to belittle Islam and to please others who relish and encourage such nonsense. Pilgrimages are common to all religions.Most of the world’s great religious centers, past and present,have been the destinations for pilgrimages –think of the Vatican, Jerusalem Budh Gaya (where Buddha was enlightened).

Excellent pattern of nation-building
Hajj, the fifth pillar of Islam is somewhat different from other pilgrimages as it involves a complete transformation of the individual’ life within a space of few days. Muslim’s worship really begins with the concept of ‘ihsan’ or realization. It implies that a person is really making a conscious effort to be in communication with God.
Indeed Islam has provided an excellent pattern of nation- building which resembled the nation - building process as was envisaged by Confucius: To put the world right in order, we must first put the nation in order; we must first put the family in order; we must first cultivate our personal life and must first set our hearts right.” The Qur’an has assured mankind that from those who invite others to all that is good, enjoining what is right and forbidding what is wrong: “And let there be from you a nation inviting to good, enjoining what is right and forbidding what is wrong, and those will be successful.” [3:104]
The Hajj, along with other obligatory four pillars of Islam play an important role in maintaining the sense of belonging to a community. They create the link not only with those who perform them but also between generations. The idea of silsila, a chain of witnesses stretching from the Prophet to the end of the world, and handing on the truth by direct transmission from one generation to another, is vital in Islamic culture.

Kaba: World’s first shrine for God’s worship
According to Muslim belief, the first shrine of the Ka’ba ( also known as Bait al - Haram – the Holy House ) was built by the first human, Adam, and is therefore the first shrine for worship of God on earth. Adam and Eve were cast out of Paradise and obliged to wander over the earth in grief, hardship and pain. When they were forgiven by God they were united on the plain of Arafat, where there is a small hill, Mount Arafat, also known as Jabal-e- Rahman, the Mount of Mercy. Abraham ( Ibrahim) rebuilt the Ka’ba with the help of his son Ismail and wife Hajarah. Following God’s wish, in a dream, to sacrifice his son Ismail, Ibrahim was about to sacrifice his son.
At that moment God prevented him and told him that he had long fulfilled the purpose of the dream, i.e. to show his obedience. A ram was sacrificed instead, and became the historical basis for the tremendous sacrifice “of Eidul Azha”. Here Hajarah was tested again. When her son was dying of thirst she ran seven times between Safa and Marwa in search of water. When she returned she found to her surprise that angel Gabriel had already opened a spring in the midst of the vast desert at the hitting of the feet of her son. The well is now called Zamzam and the holy water is now drank in full by all pilgrims. On return from Arafat the pilgrims run seven times between Safa and Marwa to commemorate the miracle that happened 4000 years ago. It symbolizes the soul’s desperate search for that which gives true life.

Latif Siddique: Frankenstein monster
Latif Siddique is the Frankenstein monster who has been created and brought to life by Awami League’s so- called culture of secularism which aggressively professes and propagates a distorted view of Islam which is the religion of 150 million Muslims of this country. Latif Siddique who remained a member of Awami League for long fifty years has clearly stated that following the expunging of the word ‘Muslim’ from the AL nomenclature he was free to express all kinds of remarks against Islam, its Prophet and its institutions.
He also stated firmly that his remarks were fully in conformity with Awami League’s constitution and declaration, principles and policies. Awami League also deviated from the ideals declared in the Proclamation of Independence of 10 April 1971 which stated: “In order to ensure for the people of Bangladesh equality, human dignity and social justice, declare and constitute Bangladesh to be a sovereign People’ Republic and thereby confirm the declaration of independence already made by BangaBandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, and hereby affirm and resolve that till such time as a Constitution is framed …”
Unfortunately, the 1972 Constitution totally ignored the basic principles laid down in the Proclamation of Independence for which the War of Independence was fought to create the sovereign People’s Republic of Bangladesh. There was no such word as ‘secularism’ in the Proclamation of Independence.
The writer was a Member of Parliament from 1996 to 2006


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Hasina not worried by JMB attack plan

Special Correspondent

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said she is not much worried about the suspected plan by banned militant group Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) to assassinate her.
“I have nothing to be worried much. Because, I have been living an extended life,” she said. “I have come under attacks again and again.” while addressing a press conference at her official Gono Bhaban residence on Thursday.

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Special Correspondent

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said she is not much worried about the suspected plan by banned militant group Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) to assassinate her.
“I have nothing to be worried much. Because, I have been living an extended life,” she said. “I have come under attacks again and again.” while addressing a press conference at her official Gono Bhaban residence on Thursday.

Replying to a question on media reports that India's National Investigation Agency (NIA) has uncovered a suspected plot by JMB to assassinate Hasina and carry out a coup in Bangladesh, the premier said “ there were militant activities in the country in the past. “We have stopped those.”
They are now taking shelter in India. “India is trying to capture them. We are cooperating with each other in this regard.”
Earlier, Indian meida reported that dDifferent jehadi groups have been using Assam as a corridor to enter India from their bases in Bangladesh for some time by taking advantage of the porous international border and that is why they have refrained from indulging in any kind of violence in the State.
Quoting Indian security agencies, Assam Tribune reported that elements of jehadi groups like Lasker-e-Toiba (LeT), Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM), Harkat –ul-Mujaheedin (HUM) etc., have used Assam as a corridor to enter India in the past. Of course, the elements of such groups had used the Bangladesh-West Bengal corridor more frequently, but the Assam-Bangladesh border was also used a number of times, sources added. The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) had alerted the State police about such developments at different security level meetings.
Sources said investigations of terror attacks in different parts of the country proved that those involved managed to sneak into India from their bases in Bangladesh. However, it is believed that such outfits refrained from indulging in any act of violence in Assam because they did not want to disturb their safe corridor.
Indian Security sources pointed out that following the ethnic riots in the Bodoland Territorial Autonomous Districts (BTAD) in 2012, Assam was very often mentioned by leaders of the well-known jehadi groups in their speeches. Videos of a number of such speeches are available with the Indian security agencies. However, there has been no report of movement and activities of the Indian Mujaheedin (IM) in this part of the country.
Sources admitted that the accidental blast in Burdwan in West Bengal was a blessing in disguise as the incident exposed the activities of the Jamaat-ul-Mujaheedin, Bangladesh (JMB) in the country. Till the blast, the activities of the JMB were not known to the security agencies, although there were reports that the outfit was trying to set up its West Bengal wing for a long time. The investigation into the blast led to the recovery of more than 200 bombs and exposed the links of the outfit in Assam. It was also clear that a number of persons from Assam were trained by the JMB to make improvised explosive devices. Though six persons have been arrested in this connection in Assam, the kingpins are still at large and it is still not known how many persons from the State were trained by the JMB.


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Amnesty wants Nizami’s death sentence overturned

Special Correspondent

Amnesty International has called for overturning the death penalty of Jamaat-e-Islami chief Maulana Motiur Rahman Nizami saying that the verdict will not bring justice to the millions of victims of the independence war.
The statement came yesterday after a special tribunal ICT sentenced him to death for crimes committed against humanity during 1971.

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Special Correspondent

Amnesty International has called for overturning the death penalty of Jamaat-e-Islami chief Maulana Motiur Rahman Nizami saying that the verdict will not bring justice to the millions of victims of the independence war.
The statement came yesterday after a special tribunal ICT sentenced him to death for crimes committed against humanity during 1971.

“Bangladesh must overturn the death sentence against Motiur Rahman Nizami and all others. The death penalty is the ultimate cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment and can never be a way to deliver justice,” said Abbas Faiz, Amnesty International’s Bangladesh Researcher.
“The crimes committed during the independence war were horrific, and there is no question that victims deserve justice. But the death penalty only perpetuates the cycle of violence.”
“The death penalty is not only a violation of the right to life, but it is an irreversible punishment if it leads to execution, and leaves no room to correct any possible judgment errors or fair trial violations from the proceedings.”
“The ICT is a unique opportunity for justice and reconciliation in Bangladesh. But in the face of consistent concerns raised by the defence team about the trials not being fair it will only have the opposite effect and create more resentment,” said Abbas Faiz.
“The political situation in Bangladesh is extremely tense, and there is a real risk that any street demonstrations could erupt into violence. It is crucial that security forces ensure that people’s right to demonstrate peacefully is respected, and that leaders on all sides urge their supporters to not commit abuses,” he added.
Amnesty International opposed the death sentences of all previous war crimes trials saying that it is against death penalty regardless of the nature of the crime.


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Indian Maoist make poisonous potion to target state forces

Shamsuddin Ahmed

Maoists in India are working to make use poisonous substances against the security forces. A report from Patna, Bihar said after using deadly weapons, the Maoists are, for the first time, developing such weapon which may not prove fatal but weaken the enemy. Intelligence report said the red rebels are extracting poisonous substance from wild plants abundantly grow in forests. The substances mixed with limes will make a poisonous potion. It will be used to target the security forces.

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Shamsuddin Ahmed

Maoists in India are working to make use poisonous substances against the security forces. A report from Patna, Bihar said after using deadly weapons, the Maoists are, for the first time, developing such weapon which may not prove fatal but weaken the enemy. Intelligence report said the red rebels are extracting poisonous substance from wild plants abundantly grow in forests. The substances mixed with limes will make a poisonous potion. It will be used to target the security forces.

The report has created panic among the security forces. They have been advised not to take food in unknown places.

Delhi’s ant-Maoist operations since 2008 failed
Meanwhile, wall posters and notices appeared in Maoist dominated areas in India urging people to join the Communist Party of India (CPI-Maoist) for a new democratic exploitation-free country by strengthening the class struggle. It also asked the people to unite with the party to defeat the imperialist government and its armed forces, reclaim their rights to the forest and land.
The Maoist appeal came in the wake of reports that the government is poised to deploy armed forces to end the decade-old Maoist insurgency that has posed the gravest threat to internal security of the country.
About two lakh paramilitary forces plus police of the states were put into anti-Maoist operation ­ Operation Green Hunt ­ in 2008 to weed out the Maoist insurgency in two years. But the operation failed to contain the Maoist movement that has spread to 22 out of 29 states of India. Maoist armed struggle gained support from millions of adivasis, tribal and low caste Hindus, who are neglected, oppressed and deprived in the caste-ridden Indian society.
Meanwhile, CPI (Maoist) central committee in a message last month to the “Milan International Conference in Solidarity with the People’s War in India” admitted that the party suffered setback with killing or arrest of a number of front ranking members in the last few years. It had also to retreat from some ‘free zones’ in the red corridor but striving hard to regain those.
The message, according to Eurasia Review, claimed the party’s exceptional achievement in arousing women and developing their capacities in political, organisational, military, cultural and other spheres of the struggle. Today around 40 percent of the fighting force of the PLGA (People’s Liberation Guerrilla Army) consists of women, though the percentage varies in various guerrilla zones. Women are commanders at the platoon level and members of company level party committees.

Maoist women fighters’ role rising
Past efforts to extend the Maoist movement into the Southern States have, however, met with little success, though this has never deterred the CPI-Maoist from trying. The Maoists’ latest efforts have also not gone unnoticed. The Home Minister in a report last year said the Maoist party was trying to develop the tri-junction of Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu as their suitable operational base.
Media reports admitted that women constituted around 25 per cent of Maoist cadres in 2008 increased to 40 per cent by 2010 and may have risen to 60 per cent by the beginning of 2013. In Maoist citadel Chhattisgarh, recruitment of women cadre is high. According to an Intelligence Bureau (IB) source, about 60 per cent women cadres were recruited at lower ranks in Maoist camps in the first few months of 2013, while women comprised 50 per cent of the “area and divisional committees” and 25 per cent in “zonal committees”.
In Bastar, around 27 “divisional committees” were operating under the “Dandkaranya Special Zonal Committee”, of which at least 20 were being led by women. R.P. Kalluri, former deputy police chief of Bastar (Chhattisgarh) region said woman cadres are generally more brutal and ferocious. “We cannot rule out their increasing numbers in the movement in Bastar. We have to psychologically deal with the issue.”
Eyewitness accounts of the May 25, 2013, Darbha Valley (Bastar District) attack on the Chhattisgarh Congress Party convoy, in which 31 persons were slaughtered by the Maoists, indicate that women cadres played a crucial role. After killing Mahendra Karma, the leader of the ill-conceived Salwa Judum, women Maoists are said to have sung and danced near his body. The list of Maoist attacks in which woman cadres have played significant roles would be fairly long, with women cadres participating in Maoist operations and organisation over a protracted period of time.


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Indian politics: Communists betrayed Left movement

Dr. Abdul Ruff Colachal in New Delhi

By supporting the Congress led UPA government, the Indian communist leaders have indeed been promoting the Congress party interests while Congress party itself is promoting the Hindutva forces for special national reasons.
World over,  the communist movement has been dying a slow death as leaders promote corporate  interests  and consider the rich  class as  their trusted allies because they are funded by  the corporate lords and the rich guys.

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Dr. Abdul Ruff Colachal in New Delhi

By supporting the Congress led UPA government, the Indian communist leaders have indeed been promoting the Congress party interests while Congress party itself is promoting the Hindutva forces for special national reasons.
World over,  the communist movement has been dying a slow death as leaders promote corporate  interests  and consider the rich  class as  their trusted allies because they are funded by  the corporate lords and the rich guys.

With the strongest former communist leader Russian power is now far away from communist concerns and China is trying to be close ally of  an unwilling America, Indian communists who  had always looked to both Moscow and Beijing for guidance and help are the distressed and disappointed parties and they have no serious interests left for working class politics. 
Promoted by the Congress government and the Indian communal system established by it, the Hindutva parties led by BJP   became a serious threat to peace and harmony in the country as they incite violence though their public -hate speeches plus anti-secular literature. 

Leftists under threats in India
Leftist movement in India, led by the CPM, found the emergence of Hindutva communal politics a serious threat not only to them but also to the nation at large in due course as the BJP allies are trying to dismantle the secular democratic fabric of India.
This predicament forced the Left forces to support the Congress party at the centre and kept the minority regime in power for a long time. In exchange for these gestures, Congress party had offered the Speakership to the CPM.
When the Congress party faced problems in the parliament, the leftists willingly rescued the Congress government and it supported the infamous ‘Profit Bill’ in order to save communist Speaker of Lok Sabha –parliament.
Communists face problems in their backyards like Kerala, West Bengal where Congress party is their main opponent.  However, the communists lost West Bengal when a strong Bengali leader Mamata Banerjee emerged the popular leader in the state to defeat both Congress and communists. Her image as the common people’s pleaders also did not let the BJP to make its presence felt among Bengalis.   
That the continued support of Communist parties to the Congress party in parliament has made them unpopular in Kerala and West Bengal and Tripura has now become the topic of heated debate in Left circles. In the absence of a leader like Mamata can help the communists in the polls to some extent.
Despite all their efforts to keep BJP out and Congress in, the BJP and other Hindutva parties have become the most formidable political outfits of India today.
It is not that communists are unaware of hidden secret nexus between Congress and Hindutva parties but the communists preferred to ignore that though indirect promotion of Hindutva parties to control Muslims in India has made India a seriously wounded fanatic nation. Maybe, communists had expected huge gains from Congress party but failed and now found themselves in the crossroads.

No third front for CPM, allies
Moreover, the CPM and allies refused to form a third front to take both the congress and BJP on their horns. In fact they created obstacles in the formation of a credible third front, leaving wide open the poll scenario to BJP. Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) also has similar weaknesses. However, true to their credentials, the CPM refuses to admit its folly of supporting the fast sinking Congress party, thereby harming their own prospects. Not only that.  The Communists never criticized the corrupt policies of the Congress government.  Some communists blame not their policies or tactics but the implementation part of them.  So funny!
Congress party, in further pursuing the BJP economic policies snot, promotes corporatist interests and sacrificing the genuine interests of common people. Obviously, BJP has no concerns for common people, nor is working to remove corruption as it also opposed the Anna Hazare’s (and Arvind Kejriwal’s) anti-corruption movement. Price rises and extra taxes the Congress party introduced are the BJP agenda but the communist parties did not oppose them. 
In fact, over years of passive approach to problems of common people with full commitment and sincere concern for them has generated a deformed leftist movement.
And, worse, there are no indications that the communist leaders will change their petrified mindset in the near future.
Former university Teacher; /website:abdulruff.wordpress.com; educationist, prolific writer, specialist on state terrorism; chronicler of foreign occupations & freedom chancellor-Founder of Centor for International Affairs(CIA); commentator  on world affairs & sport fixings, Expert on Mideast Affairs, university teacher; author and ebooks; Editor.


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