CPI(ML) Condemns Conspiracy to Implicate the Party in Jharkhand Blast,

Demands Release of Arrested CPI(ML) Activists and

Intervention to Secure Release of CPI(ML) Leaders Abducted by Maoists

New Delhi, January 22, 2012

The CPI(ML) strongly condemns the conspiracy being woven by the Jharkhand police in Garhwa district to falsely implicate the party in a landmine blast, as a pretext to unleash repression on the party’s growing assertion among rural and adivasi poor.

The facts are as follows:

On 21 January 2012, an agitation by local villagers demanding the shifting of the proposed site of a health centre was being led by elected mukhiya and CPI(ML) activist Ramdas Minz, at Barga village in Bhandaria block in Garhwa district. The police arrested Comrade Ramdas Minz during the agitation, but the protest continued, blockading the road with the demand that the Bhandaria BDO meet them and address their grievance.

Comrade Sushma Mahto, elected Zila Parishad Chairperson and well-known local leader of the CPI(ML) was coming from Garhwa by car to the protest site, along with CPI(ML)’s Jharkhand State Committee member Comrade Akhtar Ansari, and another Zila Parishad member, an adivasi woman named Hirwanti Devi.

A land mine blast by Maoists in the same area claimed the lives of several policemen, though the BDO’s car, apparently on the way to meet the agitating villagers, passed safely. When Comrade Sushma’s vehicle approached the area, the Maoists stopped the car and snatched the gun from Comrade Sushma’s bodyguard. Comrade Sushma, her bodyguard Sunesh Ram, CPI(ML) State Committee member Comrade Akhtar Ansari, Hirwanti Devi and the driver of the car, Ahmed, had their hands tied behind their backs, and were abducted by the Maoists.

Alarmingly, instead of making efforts to rescue the abducted CPI(ML) leaders and others, the Jharkhand police are falsely implicating the CPI(ML) in the landmine blast, alleging that the roadblock and protest were being held by the party as a ploy to ‘lure’ the policemen into the Maoist blast. Several of our activists, including Comrade Ramdas Minz, elected mukhiya from the CPI(ML), are being tortured in police custody. The DGP of Jharkhand is refusing to acknowledge that Sushma Mahto and other CPI(ML) leaders have been abducted!

In Garhwa, the police and local administration have for some time now, launched an all-out drive to falsely implicate the CPI(ML) leaders and discredit the party, to crush the growing assertion of the party in the area. Not long ago, the police raided the home of one leader of the party, and later claimed to have found fake currency there (without bothering to produce any evidence by way of seizure documents, etc). The police then, in a deliberate attempt to tarnish the party’s credibility, alleged links of CPI(ML) leaders with ‘ISI’. Similarly this time, the police are making an outrageous and mischievous attempt to link a peaceful, democratic protest being led by the party with a landmine blast by Maoists.

It is highly unfortunate that the Maoists’ actions have provided fodder for the police to intensify their repression on people’s movements and democratic struggles. Moreover the Maoists’ actions of abducting/assassinating elected people’s representatives, CPI(ML) leaders and other social activists – as in the case of assassinations of CPI(ML) MLA Comrade Mahendra Singh, as well as social activist Niyamat Ansari – is extremely reprehensible. Such actions of targeting and eliminating those activists who resolutely stand up for the rights of the rural poor, do immense harm to the cause of people’s movements.

We condemn in the strongest terms the attempts to frame and falsely implicate the CPI(ML). We demand the immediate release of arrested CPI(ML) activists in Garhwa, and urgently seek the intervention of the Jharkhand State Government and the Central Government to secure the speedy and safe release of all those, including CPI(ML) leaders and elected representatives, abducted by the Maoists.

Prabhat Kumar,

For CPI(ML) Central Committee