Sunday, August 9, 2009

Update: Naxalites say 'no' to flowers

The Naxalites have dropped all pretenses in the killing of local adhivasis in Midnapur. Whereas last week the Naxalites at least denied a triple murder, blaming it on the CPM, this week the Naxalites have outright claimed responsibility. This, coupled with the revelation of a new anti-Naxalite adhivasi group, is a positive development.

Interestingly local Naxalite leader Bikash, who last week held a rally in Lalgarh and told the villagers "not to be scared" of the Maoists, claimed responsibility for killing two more people today. In one killing, he claimed that the individual was a member of the People's Committee Against Terror (apparently formed to counter the Naxalite-backed People's Committee Against Police Atrocities).

While this claim was not further explored by the Telegraph, it did note that Manik also sold puffed rice at police camps, became friends with a jawan from the police, and even gave a daughter in marriage. The Naxalites almost certainly knew this. Bikash claimed the other murdered was a "police informer."

The establishment of the Committee Against Terror is an encouraging sign, it would be even more encouraging if it was setup without any government backing or support. Regardless, the West Bengal government should support the movement. With the Naxalites continuing their wanton violence against the locals the West Bengal government simply needs to keep their own security forces in check.

If the West Bengal government can simultaenously eliminate "police atrocities" and prevent local CPM leaders from taking retribution against villagers, than the Naxalites will at least be kept out of the villages.

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