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PUCL, June 2007

High-handed police response to Maoist activity in Karnataka

PUCL Karnataka press release, 26th June 2007

[ See also, In The Line of Fire, Tehelka.com, 25 August, 2007 ]

The additional Director General of Police, Karnataka, Sri Shankar Bidri in a press conference held at Bangalore on 20th June 2007 has release a list of 19 suspected Naxalites (Maoists), who are supposed to be active in the state and along with it has also named 9 organizations and 33 persons who are alleged to have been supporters of Naxalite activities in the state. The ADGP has sought information about these activists to initiate action against them, with a promise maintaining secrecy about the informers.

It is true that the Maoists have made their base in Karnataka. They are reported to be working amongst the displaced people in the Kudre Mukh National park. In this situation it is the bounden duty of the state government to grasp the ground level socio economic realities which have given space for the Maoists to make their presence felt in the state.

Instead the government of Karnataka has adopted hounding and hunting policy which has troubled the democratic conscience of the state and the PUCL. It is pertinent to note here that Maoists are not banned in the state. The government’s stringent measures are worrisome.

The fact that the DGP has named certain democratic organizations intellectuals as supporters of Naxalites is to be seen as terror tactics to brow beat the democratic movements. One of those organizations Komu Sauharda Vedike (Forum for Communal harmony) is a forum has been fighting the communal forces in the state in a non violent and democratic manner for the past several years and the latest move by the government, the PUCL feels, is to be seen as a ploy to support the communal forces. Naming certain intellectuals as supporters of Naxalites, as has been done in the past, may lead to harassment of these persons and if one goes by past experience several intellectuals have been asked to file affidavits to the effects that they do not support Naxalites, on application from some rightwing activists. PUCL feels the days of McCarthyism are back in the state.

The memories of hunting of Veerappan and harassment of the innocent masses are still green in the minds of people of the state. The Justice Sadashiva commission report in this connection is still not made public. The government has paid crores of rupees of compensation to the victims of STF but none of the Police has faced punishment till date. In fact some of the police men were honored. The government has not yet reacted to the report of Justice Sadashiva commission. In this background the PUCL expresses its own apprehension about the state’s war against the Maoists and we urge upon the state government to find the causes behind the rise of Naxalism in the state and find solutions in a democratic framework, lest innocent citizens would be put to trouble. This would be a blot on the civilized society. Bangalore

Prof. Hasan Mansoor- President
Dr. V Lakshminarayana -Secretary
Prof Ramdas Rao -Secretary
Sri Isac Arul Selva- Secretary                                     

PUCL- KARNATAKA # 5598.  5th cross. Vijaynagara 2 stage. Mysore- 570017. tel-0821-251312/ 9480326622 . e-mail- skinlaxmi@yahoo.co.in

People's Union for Civil Liberties, 81 Sahayoga Apartmrnts, Mayur Vihar I, Delhi 110091, India. Phone (91) 11 2275 0014