January 1999




Of late, even as the police stepped up their operations to exterminate the peasant youth activists in rural Telengana, the people began to pour out into the streets in massive protests against the killings and arrests. Thousands of oppressed masses have taken part in the funeral processions of their beloved leaders, who have been killed either in cold blood after being arrested or in heroic battles with the state's armed mercenaries. The massive out- pouring in the funerals is an expression of the love and affection the people have for their selfless and dedicated leaders, who dared to sacrifice their lives for the liberation of the masses from the oppressive and exploitative social system. They also point to the resolve of the masses to fulfill the cause of the martyrs. These, and the other massive protests against police terror, bury once for all the lies and myths spread by the ruling classes and their spokesmen - Chandrababu Naidus' and Advanis, H G Doras and Aravind Raos and the new intellectual apologists of Indian "Democracy" like Balagopal - that the CPJ (M-L) [People's War] has no support among the masses, that it is getting isolated form the masses due to its indiscriminate and excessive use of the gun, and so on. The following are a few examples of this growing involvement of the masses in claiming the corpses of the martyrs and holding processions.

On 17th March' 1998, in Chityala area of Warangal Distt., Comrade Kandikonda Sudhakar was arrested and shot dead by the police based on a tip-off from an agent. Within no time the news spread like wild-fire in the entire area and 5,000 people from the neighbouring villages of Challagarige, Repakapalle, Jookal, Chityal, Kakdaplli etc., held a 'Rasta Roko' on the Chityala-Parkal Road. Two Slate Road Transport Corpn. buses were reduced to ashes. The demonstrators then went to Chityala Mandal centre 10 have a glimpse of the dead body of their beloved leader. When the police stopped them from proceeding towards the corpse, the people were enraged and thrashed the police. Particularly the women beat the S.I. and the police men with stones and chappals. Infuriated by the indiscriminate lathi-charge by the police, the people seized the lathis, beat back the police and took away the dead body of Comrade Sudhakar. They also beat up the MRO and the police who were conducting 'Panchnama' at the site of the murder.

After seizing the martyr's dead body from the police, over 5,000 people went on a torch-light procession from Challagarige bus stand to his native. village of Muchnipati. Red flags and banner fluttred as slogans like "Comrade Sudhakar Amar Rahe!", "All encounters are police murders" rent the air as the funeral procession went on from 9 in the night to 4 in the morning.

In Nizamabad, the very day after the martyrdom of Comrade Raji Reddy (Vinod), a member of the district Committee, and Comrade Janardhan, the commander of, Banswara central guerilla squad, in an armed confrontation with the police near Sangojipet village on 10th Oct. 1998, over three hundred people held a torch­light rally condemning the encounters in Muppenapalli village in Warangal distt. A public meeting was also held in the village. Torch-light rallies were taken out in Royyuru with 600 people, in Mullakatta and Rampur in Khammam distt. with 300 people led by the local guerilla squad; In  Gurrivula,  Laxmipuram,  Devardula, Tupakulagudem, hundreds of people held rallies with torches blazing in their hands.

In Feb 1998 when the news of the martyrdom of Comrade Kumar Swami (Sudarshan) and Comrade Sammakica (Sri Latha) in Nerellavagu in Warangal distt. reached their native village Vodithala in Chityal, 2000 people from the surrounding villages of Jadallped, Kothapet,  Bausingpalli,  Gandhinagar,  Pasigadda, Kothapalli, Nainpaka etc. took the corpses of their beloved leader, draped them in red cloth, and went on a procession carrying red flags and banners and doing wall writing all the way.

Police Terror Begets Mass Resistance.

 After the annihilation of Maheswar Rao, a notorious class enemy of Melpally town in Karimnager district by the armed guerillas of People's War, the police unleashed a reign of terror in the town and the neighbouring villages. The people, of course, did not take it lying down but put up resistance through various forms. For instance, when 13 youths from Jaggasagar village were arrested, about 1000 people, including a large number of women, surrounded the Police Station and held a sit-in finally securing the release of their Comrades from the hands of the police.

In Adilabad between April to July 1998, there has been mass people's resistance to the reign of terror unleashed by the AP police and the para-military forces.

In Sirikonda village in Indravelli Mandal, when a peasant named Keshav Rao was arrested, tortured to death and the corpse was being taken away by the police in a bullock cart to be thrown out side the village, the people of the entire village surrounded the police station and resisted the police by resorting to stone-pelting. The demonstration and blockade of the police station went on for four hours upon which the DySP arrived with a big posse of police. Undeterred, the people surrounded the police car and demanded the suspension of the SI who was responsible for the murder of Keshav Rao and to pay compensation to the family of the deceased. When repeated threats by the police were of no avail, the DySP, seeing the mood of the people, had to bow to their demands and announced suspension of the SI.

In Boath area, the police had to release the arrested mass organisation activist in Kante village when the entire village people revolted. In Nigni village, the people prevented the police when they began arresting the youths indiscriminately.

In Kothapalli village, the police tried to take away an adivasi youth in the early hours but this attempt was foiled by the men and women of the village who surrounded the police with their traditional weapons like axes, knives, sticks, etc. Seeing the stubborn attitude of the people, the police were forced to free the arrested youth.

In Patnapur village also the people stopped the police from arresting a local youth, through their collective resistance. In Sirpelli village in Sarangapur Mandal, when the Banjara tribals stopped the police from taking away the local youth, two of the three were let off and one youth was taken away. He was held in police custody for three days and tortured but had to be finally released after the people once again put up collective resistance. In Ravindranagar village, the police who came in the guise of guerilla squad to gather information about the guerillas from the masses, had to beat a hasty retreat when the people began to attack them after seeing through their game.

In the wake of the annihilation of the president of the district Central Co-operative Bank in Nirmal by the People's War guerillas - the police raided several villagcs in Sarangpur Mandal, indiscriminatly beating and torturing the people. The police had to give up their attempts to arrest few local youth when the people put up collective resistance.

In Valsapur village in Huzurabad area of Karimnagar, when the poor and landless peasants seized the lands of the landlords and began to till them, the police attacked them and arrested six persons. About two hundred people from the village went to the P.S. and organised a Dharna upon which another 15 were taken into custody.

On June 16,1998, when people of Rangapur village in Jagtyal area of Karimnagar were proceeding to a public meeting concerning "Separate Democratic Telengana", 40 members were arrested by the police. When the news reached Rangapur, 120 people from the village demonstrated near the MPP President’s house and the PS. Some of them were released immediately while cases were filed on others.


Peasants March Ahead in the midst of White Terror

 In the past two years the reactionary ruling classes have stepped up their white terror on the struggling peasantry in the vast rural tracts of Telengana and North East AP killing over 600, arresting thousands, molesting women, indiscreminately beating up people destroying houses and other property of the people. Agents are planted in the villages to collect informations regarding the movements of the guerilla squads and of those who are actively involved in the revolutionary activities. Armed mercenary squads are formed to attack and kill the activists and their kith and kin. But this reign of terror, which has further intensified after the khaki shorts came to power at the centre with the help of the World Bank's lap(top) dog, Chandrababu Naidu of AP, failed to produce the results anticipated by them. Their attempts to decimate the People's war and its underground mass organisation activists in the villages and thereby suppress the growing people's movement by rendering the people leaderless, ended up in total fiasco.

In the midst of combing operations, covert operations, and a spate of encounters, the peasants came out into hundreds of struggles relating to land and livelihood apart from establishing their revolutionary organs of power in more and more villages all over the areas of armed struggle. Apart form land occupation struggle, struggles also broke out on other issues such as wages, remunerative prices for agricultural produce, against reduction in subsidies etc.

In Nizamabad district, between January and March 1998, 916 acres of the land of the landlords in 18 villages were seized and distributed to 540 families. Another 40 acres of fruit orchards, 20 acres of forest land were also distributed and three tractors and two sugarecane crushers were retained as the collective property of the concerned village.

On May 10,1998, 600 people occupied a 12 acre mango plantation belonging to landlord of Kotancha village in Warangal and distributed the mango crop among themselves. In the see-saw battle that has been going on between the people and the landlords, these lands had changed hands several times since 1990 when red flags were first planted by the people led by the RYL and RCS. The landlords tried to cultivate the land with the help of police protection amidst a spate of "encounters". The entire people of the village again occupied the land after destroying the crops but could not till the land due to incessant police threats since 1995.

In Vallabhpur in Karimnagar district, 16 acres belonging to the village landlord were occupied by two hundred poor and landless peasants who collectively till the land with 20 ploughs. Among them were 60 women. A five-member 'land struggle committee' was also formed.

54 acres of land belonging to three landlords were distributed to poor and landless peasants in Rampur village in Warangal district. 2 acres were divided into residential plots arid were distributed to the homeless.

All these lands were actually occupied in 1990-91 but remained fallow in the past few years due to police threats. The landlords who fled the villages again surrendered to the people and agreed to part with their surplus lands.

On March 10, 1998, about 400 peasants belonging to seven villages around Metpally in Karimnagar marched to the town market and held a rally demanding remunerative prices for the turmeric crop. The traders in Korutla and Metpally market yards have been exploiting the peasantry by paying far less than the market price for the turmeric produce. All the traders having formed into a syndicate, have been carring out ruthless exploitation.

Several strikes of bonded labourers were organised demanding Rs. 13000/- as annual wages free medical assitance, two pairs of dress per year Rs 60000/- as compensation for the labourer who dies due to snake bite or any other reason a torch light three pairs of' chappals and a blanket every year three days leave every month, stopping night time work, etc.

In Enugumantle village in Karimnagar, about 200 bonded labourers struck work for two days and organised a meeting. The landlord and the rich peasants who employ bonded labourers agreed to pay Rs. 12,000/- as annual wages, Rs. 30,000/- as compensation in case of accidental death. All other demands were also accepted. In several villages, after labourers went on strikes lasting from two to five days, the daily wages were increased form Rs.25/- to 35/- for men and Rs. 20/ to 30, for women. The struggles were led by the viplava Rytu Cooli Sangam (YRCS) and Mahila vimukti Sangam

(MVS) in Venkatraopet, Ranapur, Nagaram, Lingala, Rompikunta, Tenugupalli in Karimnagar district.

Famine raids were also organised due to the growing starvation and misery of the peasants due to drought. In the months of January-February, 1998, there were famine raids in eleven villages in Nizamabad districts in which 2,100 people participated and confiscated 1511 quintals of paddy and maize and other essented goods.


Collective Feasts among different Castes

 Caste and religion have always been barriers to the unity of the oppressed masses in India. The ruling classes as well as imperialism have been using caste to divide the people and thereby perpetuate their rule smoothly. The caste question is not just an aspect of the superstructure but also forms part of the very production relations, i.e., the economic base of the society. Hence caste has deep roots and cannot be rooted out without waging a conscious and consistent struggle even in the areas of intense class struggle. Although significant changes are occuring in the rural areas where revolutionary movement is advancing such as disappearance of untouchability, open discrimination etc., caste prejudices still exist in the villages to a considerable extent. Even though the oppressed of all castes have been waging united struggle against the landlords on their common demands for years, even today inter-caste marriages and eating in each others houses among the dalits and the other castes is not a common feature. Specific programmes related to the caste question should be taken up in order to achieve further integration and slowly bring' them out of the feudal and outdated caste ideology and prejudices.

As part of this collective feasts were organised in some villages in Warangal  the months of Sept.-Oct. 1998. One such collective feast was organised in Peddapuram village in Parkal area of Warangal in Sept.1998. Three quintals of rice were cooked and 1300 people belonging to all castes dined collectively. In Akkanapet village, 800 people took part in the collective feast. The two bags or rice used for this purpose were collected from the rich peasants and the landlords. The dalits served the meals in both villages. Such programmes were taken up at a more modest level in scores of villages in Telengana in the past few months. The landlords and the vested interests are shaken by the unity that is being forged even culturally between the oppressed castes. They even tried to disrupt the collective feasts by provoking the police. In one of the villages the police arrived in two vans, threatened the people who were coming back from the collective feast, and arrested a few of them.




Home  |  Current Issue  |  Archives  |  Revolutionary Publications  |  Links  |  Subscription