Volume 5, No. 11-12, November-December 2004


Press Statement

Hail the Magebail Raid of 7 October 2004!

We Shall Continue to Seize Arms to Defend Ourselves!

Revoke the Suspension of Dalit Constable Muddappa!


At noon on 7 October 2004 a special unit of the PGA (People’s Guerrilla Army), the armed wing of the CPI (Maoist) raided a police post located in the house of a landlord in Magebail village, Sringeri taluk, Chikmagalur district, Karnataka.

The successful and daring raid yielded one Self Loading Rifle, one .303 rifle and 100 rounds of ammunition. The State Committee of the CPI (Maoist) congratulates the PGA and the masses for its success. The guerrillas took the lone constable on duty captive, cared for him and released him later.

The Magebail Raid was conducted in order to seize modern arms from the police so that cadres of People’s War could defend themselves better against the growing armed offensive of the Dharam Singh government which has on the one hand called revolutionaries for talks but has continued its dreaded offensive to eliminate those very leaders it has invited to the talking table.

Revoke the Suspension of Police Personnel

After initial resistance, the lone constable, Mr Muddappa surrendered to the guerrillas. He cooperated with us. He was taken prisoner. The minor injuries he experienced happened on account of his initial resistance, despite appeals by revolutionaries that he should surrender. He was given rest and provided water to drink. Then guerrillas conducted political discussion with him. He was later set free.

Muddappa belongs to a poor Dalit family. He was posted on duty to defend the interests of an upper caste landlord against whom the people have been fighting for a raise in wages. The Dharam Singh government has thus tried to pit police constables who hail from poor and oppressed backgrounds against Naxalite revolutionaries who fight for the cause of the Dalits, Adivasis and poor so that the class interests of the upper caste landlords, big capitalists and imperialists is kept intact. Thus the ruling classes and top sections of the police bureaucracy are prepared to risk the lives of constables like Muddappa in order to keep this oppressive system intact.

Top police officers have suspended Muddappa and three other personnel. One of them is a constable and two others are his immediate seniors in the Sringeri police station. The State Committee condemns this. Mr Muddappa had no alternative but to surrender to the PGA which stormed into his room and confiscated the weapons before he could lay his hands on them. Or else his life would have been in jeopardy. This high handed act by the police bureaucracy is bound to lead to dissatisfaction among the common mass of constables.

Mr Muddappa, for instance, draws a salary of about Rs 7,300. Of this Rs 2,600 goes as deductions for loans and interest. He has a take-home packet of just Rs 4,600. It is not possible to properly maintain, feed, clothe and educate a family on such a meagre salary.

By contrast, top police officers such as those that are responsible for the suspension of Mr Muddappa and his colleagues draw hefty salaries each month. They collect protection money in lakhs and are corrupt neck-deep draining public coffers off crores of rupees each year. If there is anybody that deserves to be suspended, it is these oppressive and criminal officers who ill treat the constabulary, have let loose a military offensive on the masses and the Maoist party and have murdered comrades like Parvathi and Hajima, and not a Dalit constable like Muddappa.

The SC of the CPI (Maoist) appeals to the common constabulary that it will treat prisoners of the people’s war with respect. It will not humiliate, ill-treat or punish the general mass of police personnel and will attend the wounded among the police if they surrender during PGA offensives.

The personal bag of Mr Muddappa was also seized in the course of the Magebail Raid. The SC has made arrangements to return this bag with all its contents to Mr Muddappa. We shall make no claim on even a pin from the personal belongings of this constable. Though Maoist cadres lost some of their bags and their personal belongings in the Barkana raid on our camp on 11 October 2004, Mr Muddappa’s bag has been safely retrieved.


An Insecure Police Cannot Provide Security to Landlords

The SC welcomes the decision of Mr Chandraiah, the landlord of Magebail, to end police protection. We are glad that Mr Chandraiah now realizes that the police who were supposed to provide him with security for these last five months are themselves insecure and vulnerable to attacks by the PGA. It is impossible for such a police department to offer security to landlords in the Perspective Area (PA).

Landlords like Mr Chandraiah have played the role of police informers, flirted with reactionary forces like the Bhajrang Dal and mobilised other landlords and backward elements in rallies against revolutionaries. The CPI (Maoist) has no personal vendetta against small landlords like Mr Chandraiah. All we seek for now is a just wage for the labourers in his farm. If the hike in wages that was assured to labourers on 28 December 2003 and again on 26 April 2004, when our Local Guerrilla Squad visited his house and held a meeting in the presence of his workers is met; if he promises not to play the role of police informer and if he cuts off his connections with the Bhajrang Dal, the party assures him that it will take a more favourable approach towards him.

Landlords like Mr Chandraiah who take police protection do so at great cost. They have to bribe police officers, free-feed constables and mark out a portion of their houses for their residence. Women folk in their houses are exposed to humiliation by police. By rendering a part of their houses into police camps, they convert places of civil residence into points of possible armed conflict. Though it might not be the intention of PGA guerrillas to harm the residents of the houses of landlords, there is every danger of injury to family members and even death in the course of clashes.

The conflict in the PA is a see-saw battle. The armed forces of the state and the armed forces of the revolution strike at each other. In the course of these battles, revolutionaries will gather their mass base and their armed strength. One Barkana will be followed by many Magebails. We have sunk our roots among the masses and will continue our struggle for a democratization and transformation of the social structure till we emerge victorious. Hence we cannot be wished away.

We are here to fight. We are here to stay.

The police brass and the Chief Minister Mr Dharam Singh who are to be squarely blamed for the growing transformation of the PA into a zone of armed conflict, will realize this harsh grass-roots reality only with much delay. If they turn the pages of the history of the Naxalite movement in this country, it might save them some time in comprehending us better.

But we hope small landlords like Mr Chandraiah who vacillate between the revolution and counter revolution and who dot the PA will realize the insecurity provided by the security apparatus and come to their senses more quickly.


For The Karnataka State Committee

CPI (Maoist)

13 October 2004





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