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19 Feb 2010

Peoples Union for Democratic Rights is outraged by the massacre of 12 people, including women and children, and wounding of 50 others on 17 February in Phulwaria-Korasi village of Jamui district of Bihar allegedly by the CPI (Maoist).

The massacre is reported to be in retaliation for killing of eight Maoist cadres on 1 February, who were allegedly taken into custody and then killed by the police. Even if this is true, what causes concern to us is a party which claims to represent and fight for the emancipation of the ‘poorest of the poor’, shows such callous disregard for lives of the very same people, and considers them to be a fair target for acts of revenge.

Instead of occupying ethical high ground or representing higher political morality, which the CPI (Maoist) claim for themselves, such acts show that their forces are indisciplined and the leadership incapable, if not unwilling, of guiding them to avoid acts which are reminiscent of feudal barbarism. No resistance, let alone one which claims to be revolutionary, can survive by succumbing to primordial calls for revenge especially against helpless and poor villagers. PUDR has repeatedly urged and reminded the party to strictly abide by principles enshrined in Geneva Convention and protocols which govern armed conflicts. It is indeed unfortunate that our pleas have gone unheeded. They have no one but themselves to blame if all that public will recall of them will be their wanton acts of violence rather than hard and self-less labour of their members. Least they can do is to mete out exemplary punishment to those who carried out this massacre and declare their unilateral commitment to the precepts enshrined in Geneva Convention holding themselves accountable for their actions and open themselves up to investigations by civil liberties groups.

Asish Gupta and Moushumi Basu New Delhi, 19 February, 2010.
(Secretaries PUDR)