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


White Terror in Uttarakhand


In end August, in the districts of Udham Singh Nagar and Nainital, near the Nepal border, hundreds of special police combed the Saufutia forests arresting, beating and torturing the poor villagers. Having received information of a reported MCCI military training camp in the area, the ruling classes went into a panic. The media built up a hysteria sometimes targeting the MCCI, sometimes saying that it was of Maoist from across the border. The Aug 31 issue of the Hindi daily, the "Dainik Jagran", said that roughly 35 people who were given military training in a camp in the area have melted deep into the forests, with no trace. In the process the police have arrested six people from the Rudrapur area including a mahilla villager while the Nainital police arrested 11 more. All are villagers and are extremely poor. Some families have no food to eat. The police said (Amar Ujalla, Aug.31st) that Maoist influence has spread to three districts of the Kumaon region —Nainital, Udham Singh Nagar and Chapavat. They claim that April 22, the founding day of the then PLGA (People’s Liberation Guerrilla Army) was held in a big way in the region. The names of those involved being put out by the police include two mahilla comrades. They also claim a lot of Maoist literature has been seized in the area. They further reported that over and above the existing police force four additional platoons have been combing the area. The masses say they have been spreading terror in the region.

A five member PUDR (People’s Union of Democratic Rights) team which visited the area, in its report stated that: in the name of investigation the police are infringing all the basic rights of the people; all the arrests made are totally illegal; the arrested are not being produced in court; that in Uttarkhand anyone who seeks to fight against the excruciating poverty is framed as a Maoist and attacked; the charge put on the arrested are ‘anti-national’ which can result in a death sentence. They have demanded that one Ishwar, arrested from Haldwani, be immediately produced in court; the continuous interrogation searches and threats to large number of social and political activists by the police be immediately stopped; action be taken on those officials that illegally detain people; remove the anti-national charge on those arrested.

On Sept.15. in Haldwani a large detachment of armed police surrounded the house of M.B.College student, Ishwar, demanding his brother, who is an activist of a student organisation. For five days there was no trace of him. When a team of PUCL activists went to meet the police in this connection, Ishwar suddenly appeared and he too was framed as an anti-national.

But the terror of the Uttarkhand government is not only focused on Maoists there but on all democratic dissent — and it is increasing day by day. A few months back struggling workers in Pantnagar were brutally attacked by the police; in the Capital, Dehra Doon, teachers were lathi-charged; similar attacks on the struggling people were made at Sultanpur, Ravindranagar and numerous other places. In the present round of attacks no one has been spared, not even civil liberties and democratic rights activists.

This continuing white terror in Uttarkhand by the Congress government there was roundly condemned at a public meeting held by the Uttarkhand Sanyukt Sangarsh Morcha in Rudrapur (Udam Singh Nagar) on Oct 15 2004. This Morcha was a front of some 20 mass organisations covering a wide spectrum of student, youth, women, workers, peasants and citizens organisation with Kamla Pant as the convener.

Interestingly this region has a history of the naxalite movement in the early 1970s when 31st battalion of the PAC had been moved to Rudrapur in 1972 to crush the upsurge that was spreading like wild-fire against the big landlords of the region. Before 1947 this region was thick forests, but after 1947 Pakistani and Bangladeshi (then East Pakistan) were settled in this region by the government who turned the region into lucrative agricultural land. The land was captured by big landlords and in the 1960s the situation became tense. The Naxalites movement entered the Terai and spread fast to Rudrapur, Gadarpur, Kichcha, Shaktifarm, Bajpur, and Kashipur. Later, due to mass state terror the movement was crushed. But, as it appears the revolutionary tradition lives on in the region. No doubt, this time they will more effectively fight back the landlord-government-police combine.





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

 Next Issue  >>