Tuesday, March 25, 2014

A new spokesperson for the Maoist party in Dandakarnya - India

The Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) has appointed a new spokesperson in their stronghold, Dandakarnya in central India. Following their decade-old ritual, the new spokesperson has been named after the first tribal martyr in Dandakarnya in the 1980s, Gudsa Usendi. The previous Gudsa Usendi, alias G.V.K. Prasad, who surrendered recently, has been identified as a “traitor and class enemy” by Ramanna, the party secretary in Dandakarnya. Mr. Prasad is now staying with his partner and comrade Santoshi Markam and parents in the outskirts of Hyderabad city. Most of his time is spent in figuring out expensive medical treatment for Ms. Markam, who has been diagnosed with a severe heart ailment and Hepatitis C. However, Mr. Prasad has not faced any “rigorous interrogation” after his surrender, sources close to him told The Hindu recently.
The spokesperson of CPI-Maoist in Dandakarnya before Mr. Prasad, Katta Ramachandra Reddy alias Vijay, is still with the party and till few years back was looking after the North Regional Committee (NRC) of the CPI-Maoist, located above Indrawati river in south Chhattisgarh (Bastar Division). Recently, the party had reorganised NRC and renamed it as the North Regional Unified Command — combining all units of the party including mass front, militias and the army under one command. It is not clear whether Mr. Reddy is still in charge of the northern areas of Bastar Division or promoted to the highest body — the Central Committee.
In his first press release mailed to The Hindu, the new spokesperson explained why the party is observing a day-long bandh in Dandakarnya on 29 march. “The bandh is to demand the rights of the political prisoners in various jails of this country,” said Gudsa Usendi. To illustrate how political prisoners are treated in the jails Usendi has cited a few examples. “Party comrade Nirmalakka is in Jagdalpur jail for last seven years. In these years, she was charged in 145 cases. However, she was acquitted in more than 100 cases and that illustrates how people are booked in false cases in Chhattisgarh,” Usendi wrote.
“Moreover, thousands of tribal youth are arrested just for being located in conflict areas. In most cases hundreds of boys are jailed and are kept without a trial for years for crimes about which they are not aware of,” the spokesperson said. The spokesperson, whose identity has not been disclosed, has also said that the living condition of inmates in jail is getting “bad to worse” in Chhattisgarh and adjoining areas. The party is observing resistance week from 23- 29March. Interestingly, the press release added a postscript, “Educational institutions and health services are exempted from the bandh.”

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