PUCL Bulletin, April 2003

Documents of the People's War Group and Committee of Concerned Citizens

In Search of Democratic Space

[Early in 1997 a group of 15 citizens came together to form the Committee of Concerned Citizens. It was an attempt to reflect the voice of a large democratic section of the society which is tired of being side lined in the game with people's lives being played between the state and the 'revolutionary' parties. The moving spirit behind this Committee is S.R. Sankaran, a retired IAS officer of Andhra Pradesh cadre, who has held several posts in the welfare and rural development areas in the State and at the Centre (he was amongst the eight IAS officers who were abducted by the PWG a few years ago.

The State government requested Shri K.G. Kannabiran to try to contact the PWG to get them released. He walked long distance in dense forests searching for them and ultimately succeeded in negotiating their release). The group has started a process of open dialogue with the CPI-ML-PW on various issues. We have been publishing excerpts from their documents, now and then since December 1998. The CCC has recently brought out its third Report in a book form. We are publishing below some excerpts beginning with February 2002 - Chief Editor]

All Political Parties,
Dear Sir, As you are aware, the Committee of Concerned Citizens is an independent body of persons which have been engaged for the last more than four years in the efforts to intervene in the situations of violence in rural Andhra Pradesh particularly in Telangana in the context of the three decade old Naxalite movement and the State actions. The Committee has been striving to create a space for a democratic resolution of conflicts so that the ordinary people may secure justice and live and work with dignity.

Recently, the Committee published an Open Letter on the 15th January 2002 addressed to the Government and the PWG asking both to cease armed action or any killing or violent activities for a period of time and start talks. There was a reply from PWG on 19th January that they were ready for talks if the Government stops encounters and combing. A further Press Statement was made by the Committee on the 20th January asking PWG to declare that they would also not use violence. The PWG made a Press Statement on the 25th January that if the Government responds, they will commit themselves to cease armed action from the second week of February. The Committee requested the Government to respond positively and create an atmosphere conducive to a dialogue. Government has announced that an All Party meeting will be held on the 12th February 2002 after the Chief Minister's return from foreign tour.

As the Committee has been having discussions with political parties earlier, copies of all the recent statements (which have already been published in the press) are sent herewith for your kind information and necessary action. - S.R. Sankaran, Convener, Committee of Concerned Citizens, 4 February 2002.
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Talks Are Possible: Necessary Too
The efforts of the Committee of Concerned Citizens for the last four years to mitigate the violence taking place in the State in the context of the Naxalite movement and the State action has now reached a crucial stage. There has been support for the endeavour of the Committee from different political parties, from Peoples War and from the public. Even though both the sides have indicated their agreement in principle for the proposal from the Committee that there should be talks between Peoples War and the Government, there is a need for taking steps to create a conducive atmosphere for that purpose.

It is very evident from the tenor of the debate initiated by Vaarta that people are very anxious that this violent situation should change. In fact, along with those who are actually taking part in the debate, there are lakhs of people living in the villages who are having the same expectation. The reason for this is the existing situation in which the common people are not able to live without fear and their agony on the inability to represent their problems to any one. There should be a situation in which anyone can express his or her views freely and fearlessly. The Committee compliments all those who have taken part in this debate initiated by Vaarta on behalf of the people and seeking to come out of this atmosphere of fear. The Committee strongly hopes that if the talks do take place, the situation would improve as everyone is looking forward to.

In the context of the spiraling violence, the Committee, during the last six months, intensified its efforts to mitigate this violent situation. As a part of this endeavour, the Committee held discussions with different political parties and organisations. The Committee assessed the opinion of different cross sections. On the basis of the views expressed in these discussions, the Committee proposed the talks. Hopefully, there was a favourable response from the Peoples War. Government had announced in the Assembly that there is no objection to talks. Some days back, there was an announcement by the Government pursuant to a Cabinet meeting that the Government will take a decision after holding discussions with all political parties. As both the sides are responding to some extent, the Committee of Concerned Citizens is confident that the talks will take place.

Even as, this effort has been taking shape, there are some doubts that have emerged. The. Committee is of the view that these require clarification. Some people are expressing the doubt that the talks may be just a tactical move on the part of Peoples War to gain breathing time as they have become weak. But it should be noted that this proposal for talks is one that has been made by the Committee of Concerned Citizens. The Committee is aware that such type of proposals have problems. However, the Government can also make good use of this situation. This gives opportunity for the political leaders going to the people freely, people bringing their problems to their notice, the police and their families who are facing this problem living peacefully without fear. Apart from this the accountability of the Government will improve. Hence, to consider this as just a strategy of any one side will be without basis.

The question in everyone's mind is what should be done now. The Government on one side and the Peoples War on the other have to decide on the issues to be discussed. No one can say that the Government should agree or will agree to all the demands of Peoples War or in the same manner that the Peoples War should agree to all that Government will say. But there is nothing wrong in bringing up any subject for discussion. Both the sides can express demands according to their opinion and policy. The Committee will only request that there should be 'give and take' in the larger interests of the people. There could be difference of opinion in the matter of interests of the people or on what are the people's needs or on the manner in which they can be met. The Committee would only request that there should be sincere attempts to search for solutions through talks.

There are certain demands of people which require immediate solution. For example, the distribution of land to the poor is a current issue. Another issue us is how to meet the aspirations of the educated youth unemployed for years together as well as those underemployed people. There is also the issue of taking steps for ensuring the self-respect and dignity of people who, for generations, having been seeking, their human dignity to be recognised. If there is a willingness to talk, all these are issues deserving discussion. However, even before that there should emerge an atmosphere conducive to talks.
The Committee holds the view that the solution to peoples problems is possible through clear-cut democratic practices. In the last three decades, the weapons have gained preeminence and pushed politics to the background. As a result, the basic problems of people have got obscured. The Committee has been, time and again, urging that the Government on one side and the Peoples War on the other should go into peoples basic problems and make efforts to resolve them. The Committee believes that talks are possible, indeed necessary, between the Government which is intended for peoples welfare and the Peoples War which has emerged out of societal problems. - S.R. Sankaran, Convener, Committee of Concerned Citizens (Published in Telugu in Vaarta on 9 February 2002)
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Government To Hold Talks With Naxalites
The Hindu, 13 February 2002
In a significant move, the Government has 'officially decided' to hold talks with the outlawed People's War Group of CPI (ML).

This was announced here on Tuesday at an all-party meeting convened by the Chief Minister, N. Chandrababu Naidu, to discuss the vexatious issue hanging fire for over 30 years. The decision to go for talks was 'unanimous'.
The Government assured the meeting that it would formulate the basic framework for the proposed talks laying down modalities and agenda in 10 days when the next round of talks with political parties would be convened.
"Talks must be held and they will be held. I am hopeful they will bear fruit. The fact that we have officially decided to hold talks with the PWG is by itself very important and demonstrates our seriousness", the Minister for Home, T. Devender Goud, said at the media briefing later.

Mr. Goud denied there was 'pressure' from the police, saying "it is basically a political initiative."

The meeting was attended by M. Satyanarayana Rao, President, APCC(I), N. Indrasena Reddy, BJP floor leader, B.V. Raghavulu, Secretary, CPI(M), Lal Jan Basha, General Secretary, TDP, Asaduddin Owasi, MIM floor leader, and N. Narasimha Reddy of TRS.
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Lal Jan Basha S.M.
General Secretary & Polite Bureau Member
Telugu Desham, N.T.R. Trust Bhavan,
Banjara Hills, Hyderabad
Dear Shri Sankaran Garu,
I am in receipt of your letter dated 4-2-2002 regarding the "Committee of Concerned Citizens" views on the P.W.O. and your efforts for a democratic revolution of conflicts.

You are fully aware that our Chief Minister had convened an all party meeting on 12-02-2002. It was decided at the meeting to open negotiations with P.W.G. We now hope that all interested people will cooperate and end this interminable violence causing great and pointless misery in the state.
With regards, Yours Sincerely, Lal Jan Basha S.M., Sri S.R. Sankaran IAS (Retd.), S.R. Sankaran, Convener, Committee of Concerned Citizen, Amrita Hills, Punjagutta, Hyderabad-500 082, 13-2-2002
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CPI (ML) Janashakti - A.P. State Committee
K. Rajanna, Secretary, 22-2-2002
Letter from CPT (ML) Janashakti to Poura Spandana Vedika (CCC)
Greetings to friends.

1.1 We have seen in the newspapers your open letter to the communist revolutionaries and the government dated 15-1-2002 requesting for talks. We appreciate the efforts and initiatives you have been making for the last four years for bringing about these talks. While welcoming yours endeavors for a dialogue both the sides, we inform that our organisation is ready for talks with the Government.

1.2 For the past almost Five years, a public discussion on the talks has been going on through the newspapers. It is evident that except the ruling regime and a section of the higher police officials, a large section of the public and democrats have been in favour of talks between both the sides. Taking note of the aspirations of the people and the democratic forces and respecting their wishes, we clearly announce our readiness for talks between both the sides.

1.3 While expressing general readiness to talk either directly or through democratic mediators with the revolutionaries, the Chandrababu Naidu Government is vacillating in various ways. First, a number of conditions have been stated especially, surrendering arms to the Government, accepting the Constitution, joining the mainstream (Which means that the present exploitative situation should be recognised).

Later, they said that the acceptance of police machinery is needed; after this during the next ten days, without representation of any side, especially, without the participation of the CCC which has been making efforts for these talks (after the All Party meeting on the 12 February), the modalities for talks, the agenda for talks, conditions, demands, the representatives on the side of the Government have been talked about. Even after a week, the line of the Government is not clearly known. We express our apprehension that this does not show the sincerity of the Government nor their readiness for unconditional talks.

1.4 On the other hand, the Government has been hunting revolutionaries in the name of encounters and continuing its violence. On 16-2-2002, the police caught hold of Comrade Mittapalli Lakshman (Srinivas) peasant activist at Machapur village in Siddipet Mandal of Medak district and killed him declaring it as encounter. Similarly, even when the agenda for talks was being decided upon, police killed, Com. Vikram who was undergoing treatment for illness in Sircilla, four persons including a teacher in Warangal; Madhukar, a labourer in Adilabad, Ilanna in Nizamabad, other activist in Guntur, Mahbubnagar and Warangal. Apart from this, during the same time, they have illegally arrested, jailed, and harassed beedi workers, Telangana activists, rytu coolies and students describing them falsely as dalam members and leaders. Even apart form this in Adilabad district 120 ITDA teacher were arrested tortured and suspended from service on the basics of similar false allegation. They have arrested and severely tortured as well as got suspended from service the office bearers of peoples organisations such a APTF, DTF at different leaves in districts like Karimnagar and Warangal including Chandram, Somayya, and Ravinder.

The SP of Karimnagar publicly stated that will do away with 20 teachers including the president of one of the state, association. The mafia activities of police in Kothur and Mysigandi in Mahbubnagar district is well know to the people. In recent times, the raids, combing operations, repression on people are continuing and getting intensified in Telangana area, northern coastal Andhra forest region, Guntur, Ananthapur, and Kurnool. The harassment and repression on people and the families of revolutionaries in the name of counseling and durbar has increased. You are not unaware of the incident up Haridas Palli of Yellareddipet Mandal in Karimnagar district-in order to bring out one revolutionary, the police put fear in the family of the revolutionary as well as the entire village and harassed them in order to forcibly make them stage a hunger strike against Janashakti party.

1.5 We are expressing our own doubts whether the Chandrababu Government which is labelling not only communist revolutionaries but also common people, office bearers of democratic organisations and teachers as terrorists, including propaganda that the anti-social forces, utilizing the hold over media in their hands to mislead people, hunting them intensifying the violence and blood shedding day by day, will be prepared for the sincere talks between both sides as requested by you and whether these actions respect the aspirations of the people.

II Talks-Conditions
2.1 We note that in your open letter dated 15-1-2002 you have proposed six conditions each to both sides. You have proposed these with objective of increasing the democratic space and reducing bloodshed in Telangana particularly North Telangana. You have put forward these conditions based on your humanist approach. Our anxiety is that the proposal should not pave the way for placing in the same category the two contending forces of people and ruling classes, dominant and subordinate; repressive and self-defense; exploiting and exploited, the oppressors and the oppressed; strong and the weak. We hope that you would see that such short comings do not get incorporated in your proposal.

2.2 The situation has moved from talk with conditions to unconditional talks. Even though our fraternal revolutionary partner has expressed their readiness for unconditional talks and cessation of armed action but the Government has not responded. As we have already stated, the approach of the Government and the attitude adopted is doubtful in nature. We believe that you will take serious note of the one sided approach and the attitude of the Government.

2.3 There are announcements regarding the agreement of the Government for the need for unconditional talks. However, the responsibility for creating a conducive atmosphere for talks rests, primarily with the Government in power. Apart from this, if the Government is sincere about the talks, we feel that the responsibility for creating favourable atmosphere for talks will be essentially with the side which holds state power. Thereafter, after the talks commence, it will be useful do decide upon the minimum conditions to be adhered to by both the sides during the period of talks. We make it clear that it will not do justice to the talks looked forward to by people if a different approach or attitude is adopted.
III Government Alone Is Responsible To See That The Talks Between Both The Sides - Communist Revolutionaries And The Government Do Not Deteriorate Into Empty Rhetoric

3.1 The altitude of the Government should not be that the talks between both sides are just for the sake of talks. That the talks should not deteriorate like this is your expectation and people's expectation. Therefore, the responsibility for creating minimum favourable atmosphere for talks is with the ruling Government. As a part of this, we request the Government through you to make clear the following points to the people.

3.2 We consider that any talks between the Government and the communist revolutionaries is political. Does the ruling Government recognise the present talks as political talks or not?

3.3 If the Government recognise the talks as political, state should recognise the remaining communist revolutionaries as political forces. Has the Government taken a clear stand on this? Have they announced it by now? If there is any such, it should be placed before the people. In case, the Government announces in this manner, what is your response.

3.4 The ruling State has enormous armed might. On the side of the revolutionary people a small number of armed people and arms are there for self-protection, for armed resistance of the armed attacks of the State, under the leadership of the communist revolutionaries. This is a fact. If so, are you treating both the armed mights as belligerent? Or not? Likewise, is government treating peoples armed power as belligerent force or not, as terrorists, anti-social, foreign agents? It is necessary that the ruling State makes it clear what is what.

3.5 Unless there is at least the minimum political understanding as above, is it possible to do justice to peace and democracy aspired by people who are immersed in the death trap in Telangana even as both sides talk and continue their talks. These are actions to be done or announced primarily from the side of ruling Government and not by the revolutionary side. We request that you too should think about this understanding of ours.

IV With Which Government Should Both Sides Talk

4.1 The issue of talks has emerged as part of the efforts to bring peace and democracy in Telangana particularly North Telangana, for bringing an end to the violence, through having round table discussions, or direct talks or through mediator with all parties. During this very period of proposals for talks, Chandrababu Government has taken the leading role on approving the POTO as well as bringing the CPI(ML)-People War under the scope of the ban under POTO. Not only this, Chandrababu announced in the press that the approval to bring some more communist revolutionary organisations with in the purview of POTO was being considered. Discussions were initiated in Parliament on behalf of TDP. These facts are known to the people of the entire country. Now the same Chandrababu government is saying yes to the talks for establishing peace and democracy.

But there is a problem here. The Peoples War which has shown readiness to talks in Andhra Pradesh is an All India Communist Revolutionary Organisation. Our organisation is also the same. Many other organisations also have all India character. It is the central government, which imposed the ban on Peoples War along with other institutions and organisations. Even though the problem appears like a problem of North Telangana, factor such as the nature of the problem, the nature of revolutionary groups, political character, armed struggle, forces have all India character in the forthcoming talks based on the situation the issue such as peace, democracy, democratic rights all of them are of all India character. Therefore, we think that they will be more useful if they take place at all India level and in all the states. We request the Committee of Concerned Citizens to make efforts for this also.

V Talks Need For Ensuring Minimum Atmosphere
5.1 The expectation of the people is that the talks between the government and the communist revolutionaries should take place with sincerity. For this purpose, the primary responsibility to show sincerity and fairness lies essentially on the State and Central governments. This is because the State and Central governments constitute the ruling power. It is only based on this response on the part of the state that the communist revolutionaries could look forward to their response in reciprocation. We request you to see that the below mentioned minimum atmosphere is created as the responsibility of the Government.

5.2 (a) The police encounters and the lower intensity conflict (LIC) war actions should be immediately stopped.

5.2 (b) The combing operations by police and paramilitary forces in the movement areas should be stopped immediately.

5.2 (c) The restrictions, repression, illegal arrests, torture and foisting of false cases on people, peoples organisations and democratic forces and individuals should be stopped forthwith.

5.2 (d) the talks should be announced and the ban on the organisations taking part in the talks should be suspended at least for the duration of the talks. A similar treatment should be given to those organisations who, though not formally banned are being subjected to undeclared ban.
We are slating these as the minimum measures to be taken up by the state and central government for taking part in the talks with sincerity. But even though Peoples War has announced a ceasefire unilaterally, the Government which should respond has not even shown any receprocity... What does this mean?

Does this not mean that Government is not ready for talks but wants a political surrender. We say that we are ready as far as we are concerned and that we will adopt steps in consonance with the conducive atmosphere for talks created by the Government.

VI Can Talks Start Without A Clear Agenda
6.1 Until now, there is an intense debate on both sides on the proposals for talks. Arguments for and against talks are coming out. A lot of letters are being published in the Press expressing different views. Some are expressing doubts on the very idea of talks. Some consider it as strategy or tactics. Though a lot of such opinions are being expressed, there is no clarity from your side or from the side of the State as to what are the items for talks. It is continuing as an agenda less agenda. Can there be talks without agenda. We think it cannot be.

6.2 What is the use of a situation in which the very expression of willingness by communist revolutionaries and the government for talks is itself considered a great good fortune. The reason for this is until now the government was dodging. After people got tired of talking and talking, there is no fault in coming to this conclusion that in the name of talks any game can be played and Government will try to turn it in any direction. Because, even in 1999, government sent information through SIB police officers that they wanted to talk to us as well as to other organisations.

When our representatives met SIB officers to know what the matter was, we were asked to meet the DGP. After meeting DGP, it was known that only the police machinery was doing the talks. We told that the talk's can be only between party and the government and not with police; if, in case, the Government want to talk, the reasons why, what, what is the agenda in detail must be sent by the government in writing and we will inform our response. From that day until now, there has been no information or letter from the government. We think that the same is the position wish the other revolutionary parties also. Because of this reason, any talks without agenda has the possibility of deteriorating into a comedy. Keeping this experience in mind we request clearly, through you, invitation for talks from the government, representation, minimum steps, agenda for talks.

6.3 It is by now almost half a decade since you started your efforts for talks, democratic intervention and initiative. Do the points shown below figure in the interaction and exchanges by government on one side and the communist revolutionaries on the other side or not:
(a) Land for the tiller - Issues.
(b) Globalisation - Vision 2020.
(c) Setting up Telangana State, Autonomous Councils for tribals, Autonomous Councils for Rayalaseema, Kalinga Andhra - Demands.
(d) Closed industrial units - creating employment for workers.
(e) Debt burden on ryots.
(f) Unemployment problem - Security for the employed.
(g) Privatisation - Loans from external imperialists.
(h) Irrigation facilities for agricultural lands based on the regional resources.
(i) Reservation based on population in all sectors of private and public sector for Dalit, Bahujan, Women, Religious minorities.
(j) Hindutva Saffronisation of education, culture, military, economy, political State.
(k) Protection to caste based traditional occupations.
(l) Ensuring democratic and civil rights. Right to life. Right to professing political belief, universal right to hold free opinion of ones choice Democratic rights as objective. Repressive laws like POTO Prohibitory actions.

We request that these items should form part of agenda. Apart from this, efforts should be made to include similar peoples just demands.
Friends, There has been delay in announcing our stand on the talks with the government. We are sorry for this delay.

Along with the views made clear by us, we think the clarifications asked for by us are democratic and people oriented just issues. We consider that the issues we have raised are democratic issues.

We say again that we are ready for talks. We made it clear that we will take appropriate action on our side depending on the action taken by the government for talks. We will announce our Andhra Pradesh state and central committee representatives. We take leave.

With revolutionary greetings. -- K. Rajanna, Secretary, CPI (ML) -Janashakti State Committee, Andhra Pradesh, 22-2-2002
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War AOB Special Zonal Committee Secretary Clarification Talks Only If The Government Lowers Its Guns

Three Mediators On Behalf Of War; The New Appointments Are True; We Will Not Disturb RTC Buses

Vizianagaram March 12 (EMS) Peoples War AOB Special Zonal Committee Secretary Balakrishna clarified that if the talks between the Government and Peoples War is to take place, the Government should first implement ceasefire. He explained to the reporters of Andhra Pradesh and Orissa on Sunday evening at Durgamkondalu on the border of two states on their approach to talks with the Government, POTO and other matters.

He accused that the Government which is asking them to lay down arms is indulging in bogus encounters. If this violence stops, he stated that they would announce the names of three mediators on behalf of Peoples War. He expressed the doubt that the Chandrababu Government is doing double talk and getting ready for a big attack. He said that the Government agreed to talks only because of pressure by intellectuals and not out of sincerity. And therefore, the Government did not convene the All Party Meeting for the second time. He said that Committee of Concerned Citizens which is working for the talks is not having complete clarity. He wanted it to be noted that the Committee of Concerned Citizens has not been able to question the Government. Describing the encounters in Adilabad, Karimnagar, Guntur, Kurnool and Warangal, he said it strange that while continuing encounter on one side, Government is talking about the talks on the other.

He explained that the repression is now continuing in Srikakulam and Vizianagaram. While in Srikakulam, about 200 persons have been arrested in the name of Naxalite sympathisers, in Vizianagaram district cases have been foisted on 74 persons who have been sent to central jail. Such repression is taking place in Kurupam, Gummalakshmipuram, and Bamini Mandals in 40 villages. In East Godavari district, in Addateegala and Y. Ramavaram; in Visakhapatnam district in Koyyuru, Chintapalli and Gudem Mandal's severe repression is taking place he alleged. The police are harassing the tribals.
Balakrishna issued a call to make a success of the Bandh on 22 of this month against POTO ordinance which harms the society. In this context, he said that workers, students and intellectuals should educate people. He also said on their part they will oppose this through peoples struggles. His Committee which is in 4 districts in Andhra, 6 districts in Orissa in 50000 square kilometers has started the fight against POTA. Criticising the Central Government's approach on Rama temple in Ayodhya he said it was an example of Hindu communalism and this was supported by Chandrababu.

Balakrishna criticised that Chandrababu Naidu who has been caught in the imperialist designs introduced 43 schemes of the World Bank and was deceiving people by mere propaganda. Which ryot's stomach was filled by hitech city, he questioned. Privatising the Vizag Steel Plant which was making profits was cheating. The banning of Gutka and Khaini in Andhra was good and he wanted it to be implemented properly. He said he will be happy if similar ban was introduced in Orissa also. He said they were obstructing the cultivation and transport of Ganja and wanted the Government to show alternative means of living for them.

He said that now on, the RTC buses will not be burnt. He said that Chandrababu was attempting to privatise RTC and it is objectionable. He said that they were doing destruction of property only to inform people about the killing of the party cadres in encounters instead of arresting them and producing in court. Excepting such emergent situations, there is no question of interfering with RTC buses. There was severe repression in Komarda in Gummalakshmipuram Mandal in Vizianagararam district and therefore they attacked the railway station.
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Committee of Concerned Citizens
Press Statement On Tupakulagudem (Warangal) Encounter
The Committee of Concerned Citizens feels deeply disturbed at the unfortunate loss o f lives of six members of PWG and a police sub inspector in the encounter at Tupakulagudem in Warangal district on 11 March 2002. While this could be a setback for the proposed talks between the Government and the Naxalite parties, the Committee hopes that this incident will not hinder in any way the progress towards talks and to avoid further loss of lives.

The Committee once again appeals to the Government to stop encounters and combing operations to create a conducive atmosphere for talks and to take immediate further steps to commence the talks. Notwithstanding this unfortunate incident, the Committee also urges the PWG not go back on their commitment to stop cessation of armed activities in the larger interests of the people. -- S.R. Sankaran, Convener, Committee of Concerned Citizens, 12 March 2002
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CPI (M.L.) Peoples War
Statement of Shri Ramakrishna, Secretary, AP State Committee
Announcing Withdrawl Of 'Cease Fire' The Chandrababu Government by staging an encounter near Eturunagaram, has rendered futile the peace efforts being undertaken by the people and the democrates. It has damaged the process of talks. We are withdrawing our ceasefire being implemented from the second week of February. Based on the request of Committee of Concerned Citizens and in response to the terms set by them, we announced our ceasefire from the second week of February through the Press. From that time, the cadres of our party and Peoples Guerilla Army (PGA) platoons, have been observing restraint without doing armed actions. But the Government has been acting in the contrary manner. As if to shed tears for the people, democrats and the Opposition, the Government organised an All Party meeting on the 12th February and announced they were favourable for talks.

They also said that another all Party meeting will be held in ten days and a clear agenda for talks will be formulated. But, in practice, there were no efforts and in violation of the terms set by the Committee of Concerned Citizens, (the Government) indulged in encounters through police forces. They did combing operations and encounters. They continued repression as usual. In this process, they killed a comrade in Guntur and put out a story of encounter. In a period of a week, due to the police raids, a woman comrade in Adilabad and six comrades near Eturunagaram were killed. These incidents prove that Chandrababu has no genuine interest in the talks and is adopting the method of suppression of democratic movements by force.

Why Obstacle For Talks
For Chandrababu, who is determined to implement the policy dictated by the World Bank, the efforts for talks are not palatable. The issues that will come up in the talks like land problem and democratic rights are those that cannot be resolved by Chandrababu, who is bound to the World Bank conditions. In Chandrababu's agenda, there are only issues like the corporatisation of agriculture, creating opportunities for capital investment by imperialists through making provision for profits and guarantees and in the process increasing armed forces which will suppress the voices of people agitating on democratic issues. In one word, mortgaging the state to imperialists, he is prepared for suppressing any struggle or forces that resist this. We say that Chandrababu Government is adopting a fascist approach to implement policies favourable to imperialism. We declare that, in Chandrababu rule, there is a danger of there being no space even for lawful, open democratic movements. This became clear by the firing in Hyderabad on the people who were protesting peacefully against the power tariff hike. It is due to these strong reasons that Chandrababu is rejecting the talks.

Though they were pretending until now that they were responding to the proposal for talks, the fact that the Chandrababu Government is not a goat but a tiger came out clearly with the Eturunagaram encounter. We say that, by such dubious strategies, the Chandrababu government has cheated the people, democrats and Opposition parties who were making sincere efforts for peace. Even at the time when there was no mention of the talks in the Governors Address at the commencement of the Assembly session, some opposition parties and some newspapers observed that Chandrababu has no inclination for talks. This incident has proved that what they surmised was indeed correct.

Thanks For Those Who Worked Sincerely For Talks
We express our thanks to the Committee of Concerned Citizens, other intellectuals, people and Press in the State who had made sincere efforts for the purpose of bringing about talks between the Government and the revolutionaries. However, we appeal to all those who seek peace in the State to analyse rationally and scientifically the realities that are disturbing peace. We request that they should get to know the reasons for the existing conditions in the State. Some intellectuals in the State are requesting that the violence should abate and the basic problems of the people should be resolved. They are agitated that the right to life is getting extinguished. We request them to know what is the root source for the situation of violence in the State and the safeguarding of the right to life.

Our counter violence is for the peoples right to life, for minimum democratic rights, for true peoples power. The State is extinguishing the existing right to life by not enforcing the laws like Minimum Wages Act; the socially oppressed who are living like dead, even as inferior to animals; the rural agricultural labour and poor agricultural ryots, the living dead who are struggling openly and legally seeking their right to life and for implementation of the Constitutional entitlements. This is the path which State is adopting from the time of Jagtiyal struggle and until now. Therefore, there is no alternative to people taking to arms for simple democratic rights and for the right to live like human beings. Our party is providing leadership to this just armed struggle of the people.

We take a serious view, whenever there is any loss to people's right to life from our side in the course of this armed struggle on the part of the people; we consider it as a setback to the achievement of our objective. We will take precautions to see that such incidents do not occur. However, what is to be noted here is that the basic problems of people will not be resolved if violence comes down. On the other hand, the State is unleashing violence, precisely to put down the struggle for basic problems. We request people and democrats to understand this reality and fight unitedly against the fascist methods of the State. We request the revolutionary people, the party cadre to resist government raids and intensify the armed resistance. -- Ramakrishna, Secretary, State Committee (Published in Vaarta on 14 March 2002)
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Press Statement Of Peoples War On 16 March 2002
Since the last nine months the TDP government has been playing the game of 'talks', in order to fool the people. Simultaneously, in A.P. especially in North Telangana, a reign of white terror has been unleashed resulting in arrests, tortures, fake encounters, ambushes, etc. This is the real fascist character of the government, for which we appeal to all democratic section to understand, condemn and resist.
In the last nine months there have been 50 martyrs in AP, of which 28 are in NT alone. Of these in NT, two District Committee members - Coms. Suryam and Illanna - were arrested while going for medical treatment (Sept. 2001 and Jan 2002), tortured and brutally killed in fake encounters.

After the Hanamkonda attack on a police station, the police picked up four sympathisers from their sleep and killed them at 5.00 am in front of the people. In Nizarnabad the police killed an LGS commander. In Mandamari Mandal of Adilabad district, the police killed a villager who went to the forest to gather wood, under the pretext that he cooperated with the PW. In Karimnagar, the Muttaram LGS deputy commander was attacked and killed. The 15th platoon section commander, Com. Saranna, was injured in an encounter near Singapalli village (Karimnagar).

He was then tortured and killed in cold blood. Then 8 comrades were in the Tupakulagudem massacre. The next day two lady comrades, resting in a village in Madhavpur area, who had returned form medical treatment, were tortured and killed in fake encounter. Then, near village Sarsanapalli in Warangal district four comrades were martyred in an ambush on the SGS. One lady comrades from this SGS was killed in another ambush. In the Mulug area, near Kallapalli village Com. Radhika was martyred in an ambush.

Under the pretext that the DTF (Democratic Teacher's Federation) and the TJS (Telangana Jan Sabha) are linked to the PW hundreds have been arrested and brutally tortured; some have even been killed. Amongst those killed was TKS (Cultural front of TJS) leader Illanna and DTP leader, Chandramouli, in a fake encounter in Warangal town.

In the village special batches are extensively combing the forests, while mass organisation leaders and even ordinary villagers are being arrested and tortured. RSS (Ryutu Seva Samiti), DTP and TJS activists are being harassed and being made to resign under pressure and threats. Numerous students in Etuuagaram, who were agitating around their demands were arrested and many are regularly tortured. There is continuous police vigil on hostels, and students have to take the warden's permission if they are to go anywhere.

In Jubilleenagar village of Warangal, a peasant going to the fields was fired on by the police and injured. The police then propagated that Naxalites shot at him. When villagers surrounded the police, they were threatened not to allow the PW into their village. The police regularly pick up village activists after raiding their village - they are threatened, beaten and then released. Often the police encircle a village at mid-night and then arrest the mass organisation leaders after a house-to-house search.

The government is spending crores on informers, black-hundreds and coverts. These are involved in pin-pointing sympathisers activists, trailing and killing them. An example was in Nizamabad, where two squad members, who were going to hospital, were killed by the black-hundreds. In Nalgonda district three relatives of Belli Lalita were killed by the Naem gang. These gangs are also looting money from the people and sympathisers, with threats to kill them. In this manner the police have turned Telengana into a war zone.

In NT East Division, a special effort has been made by the police forces to finish off the PGA. So, in Warangal district simultaneous massive combing operations are conducted in the Narsampet, Mulgu, and Gudur forest area. In Warangal there were four police attacks on a squad in just one day. Also there are massive combing operations being conducted in the Madhavpur and Eturnagaram forest belts under Karimnagar and Khammam DC respectively.
Since March 1-13th special forces from Hyderabad were combing these forests. In this operation 11 comrades were martyred - first Com. Saranna, then 8 at the camp then two lady comrades. After gathering detailed information the entire camp was encircled and then attacked. This was a JOC (Joint Operational Command) action, involving both the State and Centre.

The TDP is running a police raj attacking all sections of Society. The police themselves are conducting medical camps, setting up youth and sports clubs and dealing with contradictions between the people. They are nothing but wolves in sheep clothing. Through 'counseling' they forcefully take statements of parents asking their children to surrender. All this is a part of their Low-intensity Conflict strategy to crush the revolution. In addition, through the POTO Act, the state and Centre have banned both the PW and the MCC.

The CCC (Concerned Citizen's Committee) said that as violence between the PW and State were increasing, they suggested talks and discussions between the two. We laid out 3 conditions before discussion - that arrests, encounters, and patrolling/combing be stopped. But, on the contrary, these have all been increasing. To stop these attacks the CCC does not put pressure on the government; but utilising the incident of the killing of Ragia Nayak (MLA) it equates the violence of the PW with the State. They said nothing after the killing of 4 sympathisers in the wake of the Hanamkonda police action. Also, they are quiet on the Bongiri incident where three relatives of Belli Lalita were killed.

After the all party meeting on Feb 11, some 20 to 25 comrades have been killed in NT alone.

After the Tupakullaguddam incident, the CPM state Secretary Raghavalu criticised both the State and the PW equally. And the CCC is suggesting to the PW not to break the proposal of talks, because of this incident. This is a most strange logic, which only assists the ruling classes and has nothing to do with the oppressed masses. We request that they give up this attitude and join the democratic forces to condemn the government.

The opposition parties and CCC demand democracy and peace only in words. Instead of putting pressure on the government they propagate against PW.
In the name of consultation with other parties and the people the government is consciously adopting delaying tactics, while continuing with its massacres, as at Tupakallguddam.

The Tupakutlaguddun massacre was a planned action of the government and police. Immediately after the massacre, Home Minister Devendra Goud said, that this action will not result in a hurdle for the proposed talks. While DGP Ramulu stated that the question of talks' is a government affair, and in no way connected with police action, which will continue. These contradictory statements exposes the hollowness of the governments intentions. While consciously adopting delaying tactics, they made detailed plans for the big attack under the directions of the JOC and DGP Ramulu.

Well before March 11, based on information, the police forces from Hyderabad, Warangal, Karimnagar, Khammam, and Chattisgarh were involved in a massive mobilisation to encircle the entire area. 3 batches attacked the camp from three sides. The PGA forces resisted heroically. To protect the leadership they went in the forefront and shot dead an SI. But, resisting, comrades Swarana, Prabhakar, Devendra. Benjamin, Rajita, Anjanna, Gajendra and Indra were martyred.
On the very next day 2 LGS lady comrades Premilla and Venella, were picked up from a village, when they had returned from hospital, were brutally tortured and killed in a fake encounter. This too was a part of the massive police operations in the area.

In memory of these heroic fighter and in condemnation of the government we call on the people to observe an all - AP bandh on March 21. Also observe March 22 as an all-India bandh against POTO.

We call on the masses to hold meetings, processions and propagate widely; to resist the informers and police forces; and to punish TDP leaders.
While adopting the duplicity of talks it is conducting an all-sided attack. We must prepare to resist this. We call on the oppressed people to become a part of the people's war. And keeping the goals of our martyrs in mind, to pickup the gun and join the PGA in large numbers.

Workers, peasants, students, employees participate in a big way and make the bandh of March 21 and 22 a great success. We appeal to all small business, banks, educational institutions, buses, trains, hotels etc. to voluntarily close on these two days. -- Secretary NT SZC - Com. Jampanna; Secretary AOB SZC - Com. Balakrishna; Secretary APSC - Com. Ramakrishna. (This was published on 16 March 2002)
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Government To Hold 'Direct Talks' With PWG
The Hindu 23 March 2002
In a move that is seen as the first major step to find a lasting solution to left wing extremism the Andhra Pradesh Government has decided to hold direct talks with the People's War Group of CPI (ML).

The Chief Minister, N. Chandrababu Naidu, convened an all-party meeting at the Secretariat on Friday to discuss modalities and other aspects of the proposed dialogue with the PWG.

There was broad unanimity among the participants on four points: (1) that the Government should take the initiative for talks (2) the discussions would be held directly through a representative of the Government (3) conditions laid down by the PWG would also be discussed during the talks and (4) more important, all concerned should work towards a peaceful atmosphere for talks. Speaking for all the participants, the Minister for Home T. Devender Goud, told reporters that although the Government would hold talks, opposition parties would be involved in the process from time to time. In the larger interests of peace and success of the talks, the Government and Naxalites would have to create atmosphere congenial for the talks.

Would peaceful atmosphere mean suspension of encounters by the police? Where would the talks be held and with whom? Mr. Goud was faced with a volley of questions. "What I mean is there should be no violence from both sides. You will see for yourself. We will define, what we mean by peaceful", the Minister said, adding 'we are clear about who we will talk with'. There was no timeframe for talks; the Government was ready for talks anytime. In the face of persistent questions, the APCC chief, M. Satyanarayana Rao, urged the media to 'cooperate' in the larger interests of solving the problem. Today's meeting was attended by Saryanarayana Rao, K. Keshava Rao (Cong), N. Indrasena Reddy, S.V. Sheshagiri Rao (BJP). B.V. Raghavulu, N. Narasimhaiah, K. Satyanarayana (CPM), K. Chandrasekhara Rao, R. Surender Reddy (TRS), Akbarduddin Owaisi (MIM), Lal Jan Basha and R. Chandrasekhara Reddy (TDP).
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Committee of Concerned Citizens
Press Statement On Talks Between Government And Peoples War
The Committee of Concerned Citizens welcomes the formal declaration of the Government to hold direct talks with the CPI(ML)-PW immediately. The Committee feels happy at the unanimous support to talks by all the political parties at the All Party meeting held on 22 March 2002.

The Committee hopes that the present announcement of the Government on the maintenance of peaceful atmosphere will result in immediate cessation of armed activities on both sides and the stopping of all forms of harassment of people. With this hope, the Committee reiterates its appeal to CPI (ML)-PW that, notwithstanding the recent loss of lives at Tupakulagudem, they should continue their commitment for suspension of armed activities in the larger interests of the people.

The Committee will continue its endeavors to facilitate the process of talks and expects that a conducive atmosphere will emerge for fruitful talks for a democratic resolution of peoples issues. - S.R. Sankaran, Convener, Committee of Concerned Citizens, 23 March 2002
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Communist Party of India (ML) Peoples War
State Committee of AP
Government Should Show Their Transparency By Announcing Ceasefire In Order To Create Conducive Atmosphere For Talks And Create Confidence By Implementing The Ceasefire.

We consider that the decisions taken at the All Party Meeting on the 22 March 2002 as a step forward in the process of talks. The credit for this goes primarily to the people. The people of the State have been able to utilise, with enlightened creativity, the opportunity afforded by the democratic process of securing public opinion. They have expressed their democratic aspirations through this platform. We inform the people that we will participate in the talks giving primacy to their aspirations and in the interest of the people.

We however feel that of the four important decisions taken at the All Party Meeting, the decision "peaceful atmosphere conducive to talks should be created" is not clear. We request that the steps that will be taken by the Government for establishing peaceful atmosphere should be clarified. Looking at the practice adopted by the Government, we feel it is justifiable to seek clarity. While the time was ripening for the talks, horrible encounter was done at Tupakulagudem killing 12 people and then saying that "this will not come in the way of talks" - this irresponsible and arrogant statement made us to rethink further.

Keeping in view this bitter experience, we demand that for creating peaceful atmosphere in the State, the Government should first declare a ceasefire. It is necessary that the Government should show transparency in taking their decision and should exhibit sincerity in implementation. They should be accountable to the people. We are expressing our doubts keeping in view the defaults that have taken place already on the part of the Government.
It is understood that at the All Party Meeting, it was considered that the combing operations, harassments and other repressive measures may be stopped depending on the progress of the talks.

This understanding will not guarantee a peaceful atmosphere before the talks. It will stand in the way of the commencement of talks. In the present circumstances, keeping in mind the importance of the peaceful atmosphere before the talks, Government should declare ceasefire. That is, combing, harassment, encounters should be stopped. Only then, we think that the decisions taken in the All Party Meeting will become fruitful. We consider that only through creating real peaceful atmosphere by ceasefire and removing the hurdles faced by us, the process of talks can start.

In the same way, so long as Government implements ceasefire, we assure that from our side also, we will be able to implement a ceasefire. - Ramakrishna, 31.3.02 (Published on 3 April, 2002)

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