Volume 6, No. 7, July 2005


Unending Lies and Hypocrisy mark one year of YSR’s Rule:

People prepare for the long battle ahead in the police state of AP

- Nitin

On 14th May 2005, the meeting that was held in Hyderabad to mark the completion of one year of the Congress rule in AP, turned out to be a poor shadow of the one held exactly a year before. In spite of the Congress government pouring in huge sums of money to bring the people for the public celebration, it turned out to be a big flop. The lorries and buses that were sent to the villages to pick up the people for the meeting returned empty. And those who attended the meeting complained to the media, covered live by the TV channels, that they were brought there with the promise that they would be given house sites, pension allowance, etc., but nothing of that sort happened. Half the audience had left soon after the meeting began. Indeed, it was in no way comparable to the massive crowds that had gathered spontaneously in the Lal Bahadur stadium in May 2004 soon after the Congress won the elections with a three-fourths majority in the state Assembly.

Then how had the government of the Congress-TRS alliance led by YSR, which secured a three-fourth majority in the state Assembly, become so unpopular within just one year? Why have the people become so disinterested, frustrated, and apathetic to the Congress that had come to power in AP after nine years of autocratic rule of the World Bank stooge, Chandrababu Naidu?

The Congress government that had replaced the TDP with promises to fulfill almost every demand raised by the people during the elections last year, had proved itself to be a replica of the TDP in every aspect—whether it be cringing before the World Bank and the various imperialist MNCs and loyally following their dictates, suppression of the Naxalites, harassment of the people of the Muslim minorities, dalits and adivasis, factional murders, corruption and scams involving ministers and top officials, and any thing that one could think of. This became increasingly clear to the people within six months after the Congress came to power and now, after a year of governance, even many ardent followers of the Congress have lost all hope that YSR’s rule would be different from that of Chandrababu Naidu.

Worsening Crisis in all spheres:

In just one year, the person on the street can directly feel the effects of the crisis in every sphere. The situation has become as bad as, if not worse than, what it was under the TDP and it was in a similar situation that the TDP government was thrown out in the last elections. The negative feelings of the people have become so strong that the Congress is likely to receive a thrashing in the ensuing Municipal polls in August-September this year. More important is the emerging militant mass movement and strikes by the various sections of the people which would be suppressed by the police state with brute force.

The most conspicuous of all is the agrarian crisis that gave rise to tragic consequences. Suicides had reached a staggering figure of 2000, that is, almost five a day or over 30 a week in the past one year under the Congress. The agrarian crisis in AP had become so acute that not a day passes without one hearing the news of grim and heart-chilling stories of peasants, both young and old, consuming the poisonous pesticides and leaving grieving families behind. The decision to take one’s own life shows the cruelty and unjustness of the existing system. It shows the darkness, despair, pessimism of the peasantry—the backbone of the country, and the total breakdown of the system. Although ex-gratia of 1lakh and 50000 was announced only a third of the victims’ families received the amount.

The report on farmer suicides submitted by the Jayati Ghosh Commission that was set up by the YSR government amidst much fanfare, was not even taken up for discussion in the Assembly this time.

The report links the agrarian crisis to a combination of "macro liberalisation and globalisation policies" at the central government level, specific policies of the state and local governance failures.

According to the Report, "The state of Andhra Pradesh had become almost a laboratory for every neo-liberal economic experiment, with a massive shift towards relying on incentives for private agents as opposed to state intervention and regulation of private activity, in virtually all areas,".

It further stated, "The decline in the government’s role began when the state started incurring massive external debts from bilateral and multi-lateral agencies. Many problems in its economy can be traced to this reduction in government role and the collapse of a wide range of public institutions".

Obviously, while the Congress had set up the Commission immediately after the elections in conformity with the promises it made, as part of its election rhetoric, to resolve the agrarian crisis in the state, it had no more use for the Report as it had decided to pursue the same old policies as the predecessor TDP regime. Consequently, there has been a further intensification of the agrarian crisis leading to even more suicides by the desperate and helpless peasantry caught in the vicious circle of debt.

Today, electricity supply for agriculture is just for 5 hours while the Congress had promised 8 hour supply during its election campaign last year. Free electricity — a promise made during the elections — was implemented only partially due to pressure from the World Bank.

Remunerative prices for agricultural produce remains a serious problem. Especially those producing purely commercial crops such as mirchi, cotton and haldi, are unable to even meet their input expenses as a result of a steep decline in the prices of these commodities. The overproduction and oversupply of these commodities in the world market, the manipulative tactics of the organized private monopoly lobby of traders, and the crass neglect by the government in providing minimum support prices for the agricultural produce, have pushed the peasants deeper into crisis. The falling prices in the world market have had a dangerous impact only on the peasants of the Third world countries like India whereas the farmers in the imperialist countries get huge subsidies from their respective governments. The imperialist agencies like the World Bank-IMF-WTO exert immense pressure on the Third World governments not to subsidise the farm produce and it should not be a surprise if a Chief Minister like YSR kowtows before these powerful sharks and obeys their orders not to give any subsidies to the peasants in the state whatever be the scale and magnitude of suicides.

Consequently, the plight of the peasants producing mirchi, turmeric and cotton has become terrible. The purchase price of these three cash crops has come down drastically. The mirchi crop which fetched Rs. 2300-2700 last year came down to Rs.1500-1800 this year thereby pushing the peasantry to the clutches of the moneylenders and rapacious traders and commission agents. There is no support price for mirchi and haldi. Hence there is no alternative for the peasants but to go into militant agitation. Guntur and Warangal have become the main centres of such agitations this year. There are numerous incidents of burning of their own mirchi crop by the peasants as they did not have the wherewithal to transport the mirchi to the godowns due to the low price offered. Traders and government officials were attacked by angry peasants.

Water has become a scarce commodity. Almost a third of the state’s population has no access to clean drinking water. Even in the capital of the state people have to struggle for hours to get the minimum quantity for their daily requirements. And water is bought by those who can afford. The government, of course, makes tall promises that it has drawn up a scheme to permanently solve the water problem at a cost of Rs. 6000 crores.

Industries continue to close down due to so-called sickness and those in the state sector are sold to the imperialists for a song. The World Bank’s direction to reduce the staff by 2% every year was loyally followed by the YSR government which issued a GO to that effect.

Corruption has become rampant and it is alleged that Rs. 900 crores is already swallowed by the ministers and officials while granting tenders for irrigation projects. There is increasing demand by the opposition parties and several organizations for an enquiry into the allegations of fraud against the Ministers and top officials in the YSR government in granting contracts for projects like Polavaram, Gundlakamma, etc. The so-called Jala Yagnam of the YSR government has been sarcastically called as Dhana Yagnam which is quite apt going by the huge sums involved in the scams in allotting contracts.

The latest scandal doing the rounds is the temple land scam involving Congress party bigwigs like the Endowments Minister MS Sathyanarayan Rao, APCC President KKeshava Rao, and top officials of the state administration. The temple land has been occupied illegally by several political leaders and government officials. This scandal had also brought the contradictions within the Congress to the fore with MSRao and KKRao throwing charges against one another. These greedy sharks of the ruling party had begun amassing wealth through such underhand dealings by misusing their power and position.

A new excise policy was adopted that encourages the sale of liquor. It introduced a Bill in the assembly for the privatization of agricultural marketyards. It announced that it would implement contract farming as envisaged by Chandrababu Naidu, no matter if this same bunch of exploiters in Congress had spoken against it during the assembly elections exactly a year ago. It did not review the agreements in the electricity sector as promised earlier, but, on the contrary, has given several concessions to the private companies in the power sector.

The spread of diseases in the rural areas, particularly in the backward adivasi areas, is alarming. In the Agency areas of Vishakhapatnam, Srikakulam and Vizianagaram districts, there has been a big spurt in diseases like viral fevers and gastroenteritis and cholera, malaria, and hundreds of adivasis had died due to lack of medical facilities. Non-availability of clean drinking water is the biggest cause for these diseases while lack of primary health facilities aggravated the situation causing deaths.

The YSR government had promised that all pending projects will be completed at a cost of Rs. 46,000 crores and 28 irrigation projects are taken up for construction simultaneously, though most of it remains on paper as hardly any funds were released for the projects. It is estimated that it would take 10 years to get permission for all the projects. The government claims that 65 lakh acres of land will be irrigated due to this scheme of completing the pending projects. This year only Rs. 4500 crores were allotted for the irrigation projects. It is clear that the projects will again remain pending after the officials and politicians pocket sufficient amounts. Another joke that goes round the media is that canals are being dug without constructing the reservoirs as in Polavaram, Ellampalli and Dummugudem.

Moreover, projects like Pulichintala over river Krishna and Polavaram over river Godavari, are caught in serious controversies. The former serves only the landlords of Krishna district by providing them water for the third crop, even as the peasants in the backward Palnaad region in Guntur district and those in backward Nalgonda, do not have water even for a single crop and suffer from drought and famine year after year. Hence the CPI(Maoist) had declared their total opposition to the Pulichintala project and warned that it would not allow the construction work on the project. In fact, the foundation stone laid by the Chief Minister last year, was blasted within 24 hours by the PLGA while the people took out massive demonstrations against the project and burned down the project office.

The Polavaram project is steeped even deeper in controversy. It does more harm than good. It submerges 276 villages in the three districts of East and West Godavari and Khammam. 94,357 acres of land in these villages and another 7,000 acres of forest land will be submerged. 1 lakh 17,000 people will be displaced due to the project. There is strong opposition from the people to the construction of the project. The work on the Right and Left Main Canals has begun but the tenders are obtained through bribes and commissions. With Rs.1750 crores and 1500 crores for the two Canals respectively, and Rs. 8000 crores for the project as a whole, no wonder there has been a virtual dog-fight within the ruling class parties for a share in the cake.

The YSR government had thus done more harm than good to the people of the state through its so-called Jala Yagnam. Its projects are a non-starter and where some work had begun it is steeped in scams. YSR’s anti-people government has created more disputes between people of various districts and regions by undertaking the construction of controversial irrigation projects. It is using the water issue to divide the people.

Cringing before the World Bank:

Prior to the elections the Congress said that reforms in AP were like a hangman’s noose around people’s necks but within a year it changed track and began to vigorously campaign for reforms. The World Bank had sent its report to the state government. In the meeting of the United Electricity Employees’ Union, YSR spoke of the need for reforms. 2500 coperatives were abolished and 6000 employees were terminated. Housing Board workers were dismissed. 15,000 people were fired.

True to its class nature, the YSR government has shown its subservience to the World Bank and the imperialists within less than a year after the Congress made promises that it would not bow to the imperialist pressures and that it would submit a white paper on all the agreements with the World Bank as soon as it came to power. But soon after it came to power it began to enter into agreement with the government of Austria with conditions even more atrocious than those with the World Bank. It is trying to enter into an agreement with Germany on setting up Volkswagen plant at a cost of Rs. 4,300 crores. 350 acres of land has been already sanctioned gratis to the German MNC in Vishakhapatnam. The IT portfolio is retained with the CM and IT parks are developed in Vishakhapatnam and Vijayawada. IT Corridors are being developed in Tirupathi, Warangal, Vishakha, and Kakinada. YSR had assured the MNCs and Big Business in the IT sector that he would be even more "liberal" than his predecessor Naidu in sanctioning land and other infrastructure, and giving the concessions they want, to the players in IT who ventured to invest in the state.

The state’s Finance Mnister, K Roshaiah, stated that the government had received Rs. 10,000 crores from various agencies in the first financial year of his government. He also stated openly that his government was not opposed to World Bank loans and tried to defend the sanctioning of loans by saying that they were old agreements made by the TDP government. For instance, he said, that the Structural Adjustment Loan to AP was released by the World Bank in two tranches during the TDP regime. Now his government is trying to get the third instalment of Rs.1600 crores of the SAL. His government had also sent proposals to the World Bank for Rs.1600 crore loan for the extension of roads in the state, Rs.1300 crores for the provision of basic infrastructure in the urban areas and for slum development, Rs. 3000 crores loan for what is called ‘Water Sector Improvement Project’ which includes the modernization of the Nagarjuna Sagar project, and so on and that the proposals are awaiting the approval of the central government.

The country director of the World Bank, Michael Carter, assured the state government that the Bank would release Rs.7,500 crores for the four major projects in the state as soon as the Centre sends its approval. In a ‘breakfast’ meeting with the chief minister YSR in New Delhi, Carter and two other World Bank economists expressed satisfaction with the implementation of the World Bank projects and the policies pursued by the government in AP and assured all ‘aid’ to the state.

The Congress rulers are trying to fool the people that they are only continuing the policies of the earlier TDP government led by Chandrababu Naidu and that they are not making any fresh agreements with the World Bank. If YSR’s Congress had stated that it would implement the agreements made by the TDP government, then it would not have gained so many seats in the Assembly elections. TDP would have been in a better position to implement the agreements and there was no need for a change in the government. But the fact was that people of AP were so much vexed with the policies of the TDP government, particularly its pro-World Bank policies and the anti-Naxalite policies that they chose to throw it out of power in the elections and this was utilized by the Congress and its allies to make electoral gains. But now, on most of these issues the YSR government differs little, though initially it waxed eloquently how its policies were drastically different from those of the TDP government.

"Sell Off the RTC property and repay the loans"

—advises YSR to the workers

The philosophy of the World Bank was reflected very clearly in the advice of the Chief Minister of AP to the RTC workers when they raised the demand of cancellation of the loans of the Corporation. YSR created a furore by asking the RTC to sell off its property to repay its debts. He thus tried to conveniently hide the actual reasons for the losses incurred by the RTC and the role of the state government in aggravating the crisis in the RTC.

The RTC’s so-called losses actually began after 1995-96 and continued throughout the regime of Chandrababu Naidu. The same policies are being pursued by the YSR government thereby leading to further losses to the Corporation. The APSRTC, with a fleet of nearly 20,000 buses and worker strength of 1.24 lakhs, has found place in the Guinness Book of world records. The Government had been giving concessions in RTC fares to the students, journalists, physically disabled, legislators and MPs, both past and present, and a host of other sections. But the burden is placed on the RTC itself instead of the government making the payments for the concessions. This has been one of the reasons for the losses in the RTC. At last, after several parleys, the government has agreed to pay half the amount spent for concessions. However, the workers’ unions are not satisfied. Another contentious issue is the tax levied on diesel used by the RTC fleet. The tax on diesel for RTC which is 19.33 % in AP is the highest when compared to any other state in India. It would be interesting to note in this context that the tax on diesel for railways is just 4 %.

The Workers’ Trade Unions held several rounds of talks with the state government but nothing fruitful emerged out of these. By the last week of May the four Trade Unions— NMU, RTC Straff and Workers’ Federation, Employees’ Union and Transport Mazdoor Sangh— representing almost the entire work force, have formed into a joint action committee and issued a strike notice to the government and warned that they might begin their indefinite strike anytime after June 10th. The leaders of the various Unions went round the districts to garner support of the workers for the strike and exposed the hypocrisy of the YSR government, its deliberate moves to wind up the RTC gradually and to encourage the private operators, and its subservience to the World Bank. Its anti-people policy of absurd taxation on the RTC was explained to the people.

Almost all the opposition parties have expressed support for the RTC workers’ demands which were against the government’s plans to weaken the RTC in order to benefit the private operators and to finally bring about total privatization in the transport sector. They demanded the reduction of the tax on the RTC to the levels prevailing in Tamil Nadu (2%) and Karnataka (3%) as the 12.5% tax in AP has become a heavy burden to the RTC as well as the passengers. The Revenue Reforms Committee, appointed by the state government, too had recommended a tax of 2 % in place of the 12.5% levied at present.

Moreover, there is a sinister plan of the government to divide the RTC into six separate corporations and thus weaken it. Subsequently, it wants to replace the RTC with private operators who are already quite powerful in Rayalaseema and North Andhra regions.

It is interesting to note that it was the same YSR who had totally supported the RTC strike in 2001 when the TDP was in power, stated that the demands of the workers were fully justified and promised that he would solve their demands when his party came to power. The workers’ unions showed the article written by YSR in the Times of India at that time justifying the RTC strike. Today, the demands of the RTC workers remain the same, but ironically, the same YSR now opposes the demands of the workers, calls them unjustified and even threatens them with dire consequences if they went on a strike. The TDP, on the other hand, extends support to the strike whereas it had suppressed the strike most brutally when it was in power. In fact, it was the TDP’s 9-year misrule that had pushed the RTC into the present quagmire through its advocacy and implementation of the World Bank’s policies of ‘privatise or perish’ and cuts in subsidies.

Such is the height of the hypocrisy of the parliamentary parties of the exploiting classes!

Increasing militancy of the people:

No wonder, the people are infuriated and frustrated by the Congress government which took over from the TDP making endless promises but fulfilling hardly any. The strikes and agitations are gradually growing in the state. The Singareni workers went on a three-day strike from 25-27 April.

Four workers’ unions of the State Road Transport Corporation— NMU, RTC Straff and Workers’ Federation, Employees’ Union and Transport Mazdoor Sangh— representing almost the entire work force, have formed into a joint action committee and served Strike Notice to the government in the last week of May after their parleys with the government did not resolve their problems. The so-called package of Rs. 640 crores announced by the state government did not cut much ice with the workers’ unions which stated that they might go on strike anytime after June 10th and began organizing meetings of RTC workers all over the state (See Box). At the time of writing the Unions declared that the strike would commence from July 4th as the government was adamant.

The junior doctors had also served notice to the government that they would go on strike any time if the government did not withdraw its moves to grant permission to more private medical colleges. The junior doctors had placed a charter of democratic demands but the government— a puppet in the hands of the big business and the elite who wish to make profits out of private medical colleges and privatization of education in general—has adopted an adamant attitude thus making the strike by the junior doctors inevitable in the near future.

It is interesting to note that in both the instances mentioned above, the same YSR fully supported their demands when he was in opposition but now he thinks the demands are unreasonable! Once in power, he has proved himself to be no less a stooge of the World Bank and the imperialists than Chandrababu Naidu, notwithstanding all his anti-World Bank rhetoric during the elections.

Struggles for agricultural land, house sites, drinking water, water for irrigation, power supply, medicare, etc., have become commonplace. These demonstrations and struggles have often turned militant leading to lathicharge and even firing by the police on the one hand, and mass attacks on the police personnel and stations on the other.

Separate Telangana:

The issue of separate Telangana has been a contentious issue between the various parties in the state. The Congress-TRS alliance swept the polls in Telangana almost wiping out the TDP in the last Assembly elections. The TDP had given the call for united Andhra Pradesh which it had reiterated in its Mahanaadu in the last week of May.

The people’s expectations regarding a separate state of Telangana were quite high following the victory of the Congress-TRS alliance last year as the TRS fought purely on the issue of separate state and the Congress pretended as if it supported the demand. But soon after the alliance won a thumping majority, the Congress changed track and began to campaign for a Second States’ Reorganization Commission (SRC) saying that it would abide by the latter’s decision whatever that would be. However, YSR began a simultaneous campaign against separate Telangana by pitting Rayalaseema against Telangana, arguing against "smaller states" by stating that development and controlling Naxalites would be difficult in small states due to lack of resources, and so on. By the end of the year-long rule, the attitude of the Congress became increasingly clear which is almost akin to that of the TDP. In the last week of May it came out with the old, worn-out proposal of Regional Development Boards for Telangana and Rayalaseema as an alternative to the demand for a separate state. When YSR is pushed to the defensive on the issue, he would pretend that he would abide by the decision of the non-existent second SRC or that his party had no objection if the other parties agreed to the separate state, knowing clearly that other parties especially the TDP and those on the so-called Left, are opposed to it. The CPI and CPI(M), who are opposed to the demand of separate state, immediately extended their support to the Congress’s proposal of setting up regional boards for Telangana and Rayalaseema.

The TRS is clearly in a fix. It had initially declared that it would not join the Congress ministry in AP as it would mean acceptance of the present geographical state of AP and would weaken the demand for separate Telangana. But the crass opportunism and power hunger of its leaders prompted them to share power with the Congress both in the Centre and the State.

There is growing frustration among the TRS cadre as weeks passed into months and as the promises of the TRS leaders had not materialized. Like mendicants, the TRS leaders have been lobbying in Delhi and kowtowing before Sonia to fulfill their demand. Occasionally they issue a statement that they are prepared for any sacrifice and will launch a mass movement to achieve Telangana if their tactics in Delhi failed.

The TRS leaders initially assured that a separate state would come into existence by December last, then extended it to April and then to June this year. They assert that 20 parties are supporting their cause, 12 within the ruling UPA at the Centre and another 12 outside it. Sonia Gandhi herself, and Pranab Mukherjee, who is nominated to look into the demand and provide recommendation to the union Cabinet, had declared that it would take a longer time to arrive at any decision. They had assured YSR that they will not take any decision in haste but only after consultation and approval of the other Parties. The CPI and CPI(M), on whose support the UPA government at the Centre is totally dependent for its survival, are clearly opposed to a separate Telangana.

The game of fooling each other and the people at large continues unabashedly. And in spite of the clear opposition of the Congress to the demand for separate a Telangana state, the TRS still continues to share power in the government both in the state and the Centre. The CPI(Maoist) exposed this double-talk of the TRS and demanded that it should immediately come out of the government.

The emergence of new forces in Telangana that are keen on starting a militant agitation for a separate state is an encouraging development. Recently, a Telangana United Front was formed with 14 parties and organizations, which include some organizations in the Andhra region. A new organization is being floated by actress Vijayashanthi who had resigned from the BJP in the last week of May and declared at a public meeting in her characteristic cinematic style that she would "fight for separate Telangana until her last breath". Though doubts exist that she would not have made such a move without the blessings of the BJP, the fact that she had resigned from the BJP and asserted her commitment to fight for a separate state instead of lobbying with the Centre like the TRS, has attracted a section supporting the demand. There could be polarization of the forces in Telangana and it is likely that forces from other parties would come onto a common platform once the agitation takes off.

Surely, there is trouble ahead for all the parties in Telangana, especially the Congress and TRS.

Praja Patham—A big Fiasco:

The so-called praja patham (people’s path) programme is a poor duplication of the much-maligned janmabhoomi programme of TDP government. During the last Assembly elections, YSR’s Congress had accused the TDP that it had spent over Rs. 400 crores for his publicity and that his Party would cut down all such extravagant expenditure, and instead, provide it to the peasantry in the form of free power supply. However, the new government is on the same track of conducting publicity gimmicks, road shows and padayatras and spending huge amounts to propagate the ‘achievements’ of the government.

In spite of the massive propaganda by the government, the praja patham programme had turned out to be a damp squib. Three features stood out conspicuously with regard to the conduct of this so-called praja patham programme:

Firstly, there were hardly any people during the praja patham programmes. Ministers, legislators and officials had to wait for hours for want of people. As the Congress had a weak base and network of functionaries in most of the districts unlike the TDP, it could not mobilise much for its local programmes.

The second thing that was conspicuous was the intolerant and authoritarian attitude of those in power. MSR, a minister of endowments, tried to slap a person who questioned him. A villager who complained to the power minister that power supply was not proper, was beaten up by Congress workers. Another minister, Nayani Narsimha Reddy, openly declared that what they promised during the elections were not for implementation. In Kothapalli village in Jammikunta mandal of KNR, women demonstrated with water pots when the local MLA visited the village as part of the Praja Patham programme. They blocked the road and there was a lathi-charge on the women. One woman broke the pot at the feet of the legislator. In Bothalapalem village in Nalgonda district, the home minister became furious when women demonstrated with empty pots demanding drinking water. The minister fled the village in the middle of the meeting.

Third, there is growing defiance of the people, with politicians turning tail. In Nalgonda, Home Minister displayed anger and fled when women demonstrated with empty pots demanding drinking water. 2 ½ crores of people in around 39000 residential areas in the state are short of water.

See no evil, hear no evil! claimed the chief minister. But as regards doing evil, he did not make any comment thereby reserving the option to do so.

One year in office and the people’s anger is rising rapidly against a government that had come to power basing on false promises and lies. The expectations of the people were quite high when the Congress came to power as it had promised virtually heaven on earth. Even though people knew that most of it was election rhetoric, they at least expected some promises to be fulfilled. But the performance of the Congress in the one year had belied all their hopes and expectations. The people are now preparing themselves for the bloody battles ahead. Already lathicharge, firings arrests and killings have become common place under YSR raj. The coming days will witness an upsurge of the militant struggles of the people in AP which will further strengthen the ongoing people’s war led by the CPI(Maoist).


YSR celebrates his one year with brutal attacks on the revolutionaries and their sympathizers

The YSR-Swaranjit Sen government in AP had further stepped up its attacks not only on the revolutionaries and their sympathizers, but also on the various sections of the people who have taken to the streets to resolve their problems like drinking water, house sites, agricultural land, loans, remunerative prices for agricultural produce, etc. It has decided not to allow any militant protest against its policies. The following is a brief description of the police operations at the end of one year rule of YSR’s Congress in the state. As history has proved time and again, repression breeds resistance. The daring attacks by the PLGA led by the CPI(Maoist), which are growing day by day, notwithstanding the claims by the government of having achieved significant victories in its fight against the Maoists, vindicates this truth once again. We are publishing here a few of these incidents which took place in the one month since the celebration of one year rule by the congress government i.e., from mid-May to mid-June.

For the suppression of the Naxalites the YSR government has been trying desperately to intensify the combing operations in the forest regions by utilizing the summer season. The DGP had been to Delhi at a regular frequency and requested the Centre to supply the state with four UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) immediately along with four Battalions of CRPF so that the combing operations can yield good results in the summer months when the water points dry up and the forest cover gets thin. Although the request was made in May and the centre had agreed to it, the vehicles had not yet arrived by the middle of June which has made the elite Greyhounds and the police force quite jittery. They do not want to undertake risky operations by themselves and want the help of the central forces. And the papers reported on June 13 that four Greyhound personnel were hospitalized when they were struck by sunstroke during their combing operations in Nallamala forest.

In Prakasham district, around 300 people were arrested, detained illegally for several days and weeks and false cases were foisted on them. Activists and leaders of the RWA, Kula Nirmoolana Sangham, APCLC, CMS, Chenetha Karmika Samakhya, AIPRF, PKM and other organizations were detained and tortured and it was only the immediate bold protests by their kith and kin and the democratic organizations and individuals that they were eventually released without the usual story of encounters.

A pocket book of guidelines for the VIPs and others suspected to be in the ‘hitlist’of the Maoists, was released by the SP of Mahboob Nagar district in the background of increasing attacks by the Maoists on the police and political leaders. Entitled ‘Taraka Mantram’, it has 12 guidelines. It describes how an Action Team of the Maoists functions, how to identify an action team, and what precautions should be taken to protect oneself. It warns the targets not to go for morning walks, not to inform the family members about his/her movements or give wrong information, search all those who go to meet the political leaders, collect information about strangers, avoid deserted places and to inform the police whenever they have the slightest suspicion.

In the early hours of May 14, at around 1 AM, over a hundred-strong contingent of police descended upon the village of Adigoppula in Guntur district, searched all the houses of suspected sympathizers of the Maoists, brought them to the centre of the village and took over a hundred of them in two lorries to the nearby Durgi PS. They were beaten up severely and were shifted to other stations after releasing a few students. After the raid, the village wore a deserted look with only women, children and old people staying back while the youth fled the village. The village has been a stronghold of the Maoists since long and it was near this village that four Greyhound personnel were killed in a mine blast by the then CPI(ML)[PW] in July 2002 after the talks with the TDP failed. The poor and landless peasants of Adigoppula had also seized several acres of surplus land of the landlords, temple land and forest land.

The psychological war or the so-called war on the ethical front launched by the biggest liar of AP,YS Rajasekhara Reddy, at the Police Academy in Hyderabad in the beginning of May, is being waged most aggressively by the SIB and the top police brass. After the release of the letter correspondence between the Party leadership on the one hand, and Varavara Rao and other talks representatives on the other in the first half of May, the police stepped up their campaign of vilification and spreading slander. On May 30, the Nalgonda police arrested Bandi Venkateswarlu and issued a statement in his name making several baseless allegations against the three representatives, particularly Varavara Rao. The statement alleged that VV, Gaddar and Kalyan Rao had tried to make settlements of land disputes getting huge amounts of money in return. The Warangal police, who are extremely notorious for their lawless behaviour, fake encounter killings, tortures and foisting false cases, then circulated a story that VV had received Rs.50 lakhs from KIMS (Kakatiya Institute of Medical Sciences) for his role in settlement of the land dispute. The SIB officials and other top police officials, who derive a large part of their income from their dubious land deals made through ex-Naxals-turned-renegades like Nayeemuddin, Jadala Nagaraj, Kattula Sammayya (now dead) and several others, could naturally think of only real estate deals for creating scandals against VV and others.

Interestingly, Bandi Venkateswarlu himself was not allowed by the police to meet any media persons for over two weeks to verify the story. And finally when the media persons somehow managed to ask him a few questions when he was being taken to the Court on June 13, he flatly denied anything to do with the so-called statement he was supposed to have made against VV and others. He declared that he was not the author of the statement released in his name and that it was prepared and released by the police officials without his consent and was meant to defame the Maoists. VV too denied any involvement in the land dispute of KIMS. Even otherwise, there is hardly anyone in AP who would believe the concocted charges of the police against the Maoist representatives.

The attacks and harassment of the revolutionary intellectuals continues despite YSR-Jana-Swaranjit Sen harping on their adherence to "the rule of law", whatever that might mean in the police state of AP. On May 30, two underground leaders of the CPI(Maoist)—comrades Ganti Prasadam alias Prabhakar,a member of the APSC, and Surendar, a DC member—were arrested in Aurangabad along with four leaders of the RWA when they were having a meeting. Though the arrest itself was accidental and on suspicion, they were soon handed over to the SIB of AP since they were speaking Telugu. They were identified by the AP police and were first kept in illegal detention for three days with their eyes tied for most of the time. Later they were produced in the court but again remanded to police custody, this time legally, and a conspiracy case was foisted against them. At the time of writing they still remain in custody and the police have once again asked permission for interrogating the arrested.

Resistance by the PLGA:

The Maoists attacked ten Police stations ever since the failure of the talks in January this year after the government began its armed onslaught on the Maoists suddenly even as it kept chanting about talks. Three of these were in Mahboob Nagar, two in Guntur, one each in Prakasham, Krishna and Anantapur, one in neighbouring Karnataka carried out by the PLGA of Anantapur, and one in Khammam district.

The latest attacks in the first week of June were those on Amrabad PS and Mannanoor police outpost in Mahboob Nagar district and on Kuknoor PS in Khammam district. The attacks in Mahboob Nagar took place simultaneously on the night on June 3rd when around hundred Maoists divided themselves into two batches and attacked the two stations. The exchange of fire lasted for over two hours. The Mannanoor police outpost building was completely damaged but the policemen managed to escape into the college building behind the station and thus were saved. Two policemen were injured in the attack.

Though there were no casualties on either side, the attacks blew up the myth propagated by the police that they had taken over the entire Nallamala forest region from the control of the Maoists and that it was firmly under their control. They were boasting that due to their intense combing operations since February this year, the Maoists had to flee from their ‘shelter zone’ in Nallamala and they are not in a position to launch any major attacks on the police. The very fact that over a hundred guerillas of the PLGA could gather and carry out daring attacks on the two police stations made the police officials dumbfounded.

Within two days, another PS in Kuknoor village in Khammam district was attacked by around 40 Maoists. The policemen ran away from the station upon seeing the Maoists without firing a shot.

An amusing incident took place in Chandarlapur mandal in Krishna district. The PS, which was earlier situated outside the village, was recently shifted into the centre of the village due to the fear of an attack by the Maoists. And on the night of June 8, the entire police force fled the PS after locking it as they got information that the PLGA of the CPI(Maoist) might carry out an attack that night.

On May 23, a bandh was organized successfully in Anantapur district protesting the killing of Diwakar alias Hanumantha Reddy in a so-called encounter by the police. The election campaign by the two parties, Congress and TDP, in the Penukonda bye-election was called off on the day of the bandh.

On June 1, a district bandh was organized in Guntur to protest the killing of a comrade in Guthikonda. This was the village where the martyr’s column of comrade Charu Majumdar was inaugurated by the state secretary of CPI(Maoist), comrade Ramakrishna on October 11, 2004 and a huge public meeting was held.

On June 13, the opening day of the construction of the Pulichintala project, which is being opposed by the people of Guntur and Nalgonda and benefits only the landlords of Krishna district, the house of the MP of Tenali, Vallabhaneni Balashouri, was blasted by the PLGA in Morjampadu village in Guntur district as the MP was instrumental in getting the project through.

At the time of writing, there are media reports of an exchange of fire between the PLGA and the Greyhounds in Chitriyal village in Chandampet mandal in Nalgonda district in which at least two Greyhounds personnel were seriously injured and were sent to the hospital in Hyderabad. No casualties are reported on the side of the Maoists. This, at last, seems to be a real encounter!

The people of AP will never allow the Naidus/YSRs to sell the State to the imperialists. No amount of repression can destroy their urge for freedom — freedom from the increasingly horrifying backward semi-feudal oppression, pushing thous-ands to suicide each year. Rather than kill themselves and destroy their families, they will no doubt, pick up the red flag of liberation.




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