Yesterday’s( 28 May 2010) Gnaneshwari Express and a goods train tragedy near Kharagpur in West Bengal in which 80 people were killed and 200 injured was attributed to CPI(Maoist) and Peoples Committee Against Police Atrocities (PCAPA) by the media. The media unscrupulously played false news stories blaming CPI (Maoist) and Peoples Committee for two days. Some political parties like Trinomial Congress and the ruling CPI(Marxist) also blamed these organisations without any verification. Significantly Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram has declined to attribute the blame on the CPI (Maoist) and also announced that there was no evidence of any bomb blast in the incident.
The Union Home Minister has ordered an enquiry into find out any possibility of sabotage. During the day the leaders of CPI (Maoist) clarified through a long statement that they were not responsible for the train tragedy and condemned any possible sabotage work if any force involved behind the incident. They have also expressed their condolences for the families of deceased. The PCAPA also clarified that their activists are not involved in this incident. They suspected the ruling CPI(Marxist) to have been involved in the sabotage desperately trying to tilt the public opinion against the fighting forces.
Purposefully the media did not cover the statement issued by the CPI (Maoist) while playing the false stories and commentaries blaming the CPI (Maoist) for the incident. Some all India newspapers like The Hindu wrote editorials blaming the CPI (Maoist) for the incident. Many other newspapers wrote major articles decrying the CPI (Maoist) as terrorist attributing the blame on them. Now when the clarifications come from CPI (Maoist) and PCAPA, will these media houses withdraw their false stories and give the facts to the people? Will they regret for propagating the false news?
These two days of false propaganda is made with a malicious intension of maligning the CPI (Maoist) and PCAPA.
I attach here news reports covering the statement of clarification from the CPI (Maoist) and PCAPA by a section of newspapers in West Bengal. The same newspaper didn’t cover it in their editions coming from all other cities.
G N Saibaba
Revolutionary Democratic Front (RDF)
Statement on Train(Jnaneswari Express) accident by the Maoists
The following report was published in the Bengali Ananda Bazar Patrike dt. 29 May 2010, page 7, Kolkata edition. It bore the caption ‘Denying allegations about their involvement, the Maoists demand enquiry’ and written by Prasun Acharyya. The statement was issued in the name of Aakash, the Maoist WB State Committee leader.
On Friday night, the following statement was issued on behalf of the CPI(Maoist) WB State Committee. “We are in no way involved in this incident. We did not carry out any explosion in the railway line. Killing innocent people by sabotaging railway line is not our agenda. When we carry out any action, there are always some specific reasons behind. We also acknowledge responsibility for that. Whenever we commit mistakes we admit it. However, responsibility is being placed on us now for an incident in which we are in no way involved”. Accusing the CPI(Marxist) of putting blame on them the Maoists said “The CPI(M) is haunted by the prospect of a landslide defeat in the coming municipal elections. Thus they have opted for a strategy of killing two birds with a single stone. On the one hand, attempts are being made to brand us as terrorists and thus isolate us from the people. On the other hand, they are seeking to prove that Mamata Banerjee is completely misfit as the railway minister”. The Maoists did not directly state that the CPI(M) was involved in the incident. But what they said is: “In the coming days also such unfortunate incidents can take place in order to malign Mamata and the Maoists”. The WB State Committee of the Maoists strongly condemned this act and stated: “This act deserves unequivocal condemnation. We are extending our sympathies to the members of the bereaved families. We also wish the speedy recovery of those who are injured”.
Meanwhile, the People’s Committee Against Police Atrocities has accused the CPI(M) of being involved in it. In reply to a query, the Maoists said: “We are not accountable for whatever one might say. We are not saying that the CPI(M) was involved in it. Let the railways make enquiry. The members of our party have made investigation after the incident. It was the removal of fish plates that led to the accident. There was no line for one metre stretch, side-clips were open. That led to derailment. Let the railways enquiry why side clips were open at the junction points of rail lines. No explosion took place at the site. Had there been any explosion, stones would have broken up and thrown out. But nothing like it happened”.
The Maoists said that whenever any untoward incident takes place along the railway route, the tendency is always to accuse them for such incidents. “Three days back, eleven bogies of the New Delhi -Gwahati Rajdhani Express were derailed near Naogachhia Station in Bihar. It was not a major accident. However, initially the blame was put on us. Later on, it was found that it was the fault of the railways that led to such a mishap”.
Even though the Maoists claim not to have directed any attack on the innocent people, why did they carry put land mine explosion in a passenger bus at Dantewada? The statement reads follows: “Special Pollce Officers(SPOs) and the CRPF were travelling in that bus. We have told people in Chhattisgarh time and again not to travel in the same bus along with the police and CRPF personnel. But it was the state government which had forced the common people to travel along with the police in the same bus. That is why common people also died along with the police”.
The Maoists accepted responsibility for the Dantewada incident; but not for this mishap. “We are not involved in the Sardiha incident, so we take no responsibility of it”, the Maoist statement said.
The Hindustan Times dt. 29 May 2010 carried only a brief statement from the Maoists: “Killing innocent civilians is not on our agenda. We have no links with this tragic incident, and we sympathise with the families of the deceased and the injured”. Akash, Member, CPI(Maoist) State Committee, West Bengal.
‚Not We, CPI(M) is to blame‘
Both the CPI(Maoist) and PCAPA have denied their involvement in the Friday train derailment of the Maharashtra-bound Gyaneshwar Express, and condemned it as an act of criminal conspiracy on part of the ruling CPI(M), as reported by the Bengali daily Sangbad Pratidin, 29 May).
The statement by CPI(Maoist) state committee secretary, Kanchan, says, „This incident is against the line practised by our Party. We are not involved in it. CPI(M) and Police have jointly conspired to effect it.“
Confirming it, Com Khokan representing the State Committee leader Akash of CPI(Maoist) said, „We are not at all involved in this incident. We do not kill innocent people. Fearing losing its rule, this is a ploy by CPI(M) to kill two birds with one stone. To paint the Maoists as terrorists and to declare the Railway minister, Mamata Banerjee as incapable. Even before this when the Rajdhani met with an accident, the State government pointed the finger on us. Our State Committee fully condemns this act. We share the pain with the families of the deceased and stand by them in this hour of grief.“
The PCAPA has also denied its involvement with the incident, and declared it as an act of sabotage by the ruling CPI(M). Its leader, Asit Mahato said, „We are not involved with this incident. CPI(M) is directly involved in it, and writing posters in our name and planting the same on the site, is trying to put the blame on us.“
Meanwhile the student union, USDF, leader Soumya Mandal also said, „Whether this incident is a handiwork of the CPI(M) or the Maoists, we completely condemn it. We offer our condolences to the families of the deceased and demand a comprehensive inquiry into the incident.“