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08 Dec 2011

PUDR denounces the statement given by state home minister Jitendra Singh in Rajya Sabha on 7 December 2011 in which he asserted that the CPI (Maoist) is active in Delhi and named several groups as being the Party’s front organizations.

Answering question no. 1637 raised by BJP MP Kusum Rai, Jitendra Singh stated that in Delhi, the CPI (Maoist) is operating through the Delhi City Committee. Apart from the Party itself, Singh went on to say, left-wing extremist organizations like CPML-New Democracy and CPML-Liberation have an active presence in Delhi. Besides, Revolutionary Democratic Front (RDF), People’s Democratic Front of India (PDF), Committee for the Release of Political Prisoners (CRPP) and Democratic Students Union (DSU) were also named as front organizations by Singh, who also admitted that no inputs have yet been received to indicate that ‘sleeper cells, of Naxalites are functional in the capital.

The organizations named have not played a part in armed resistance or violent struggle but have consistently raised their voice against state suppression. It is clear that by labelling such groups as Maoist, the state is trying to curb their dissent.
The minister of state also named some separatist groups active in the county’s north-east as having close ties with the CPI (Maoist). By taking such a stand, the state wants to obliterate all difference between terrorism and Maoism. The minister added that a Maoist sympathizer was arrested in Delhi with regard to the issue of monetary transactions between the Essar group and Maoists. This case is a sub judice matter in the court and no charges levelled against the accused have been proved. At this stage, it is erroneous to brand the accused as a Maoist sympathizer.

When the entire country is openly criticizing the state’s policies today, the state is still engaged in suppressing such voices, rather than cleaning up its own act. The branding of civil liberties and democratic rights groups as Maoists is an extension of the state’s policy of throttling opposition through draconian laws like the UAPA, which it has been pursuing with dogged determination. In the light of this situation, PUDR strongly condemns the minister’s statement and sees the targeting of such groups as a frontal attack on democracy.

Harish Dhawan and Paramjeet Singh