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Dissent in Maoists fold
Kolkata, Feb 12 (IANS)
Published on 13 Feb. 2010 12:07 AM IST
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Accusing Maoist leader Kishenji of failing to address the grievances of the tribals, his long term aide Gurucharan Kisku has formed his own squad. He said Kishenji is an “outsider” who did not understand tribal sentiments. “Tribals have distinct customs, religion and language and the party is destroying the tribal way of life in Jungle Mahal and other areas,” Kisku alias Marshal, who has been a squad member of the Maoist Communist Centre since 1988, told a news agency in a telephonic interview. Claiming that Maoists have failed to address the grievances of tribals, he said, “I decided to quit when I realised that the party was doing nothing for tribals and instead using them. “The movement in Bengal is not a tribal movement as claimed by Kishenji, it is anti-tribal,” Kisku said from an undisclosed location on the Bengal-Jharkhand border. Asked whether he would surrender, Kisku said, “I am a revolutionary, but I plan to denounce arms and fight through democratic methods.” The former member of the Kharsawan-Purulia-West Midnapore-Bankura sub-zonal committee said, “Maoists are following the proletariat line where tribal distinctness is not recognized. So there is neither any cultural uplift nor tribal development.” Noting that there was only 20 percent representation of tribals in the leadership, Marshal said, “The voice of tribals is not strong within the party structure. “People in tribal areas are showing signs of resistance to Maoists and I am with them. I am also in touch with tribal leaders who have supported my stand.” Kisku, who is a graduate in Santhali language and also did a three year spoken English course in Ghatshila, said he first led the Belpahari squad, then the Bandwan squad jointly with Jagori Baskey and later became a member of area committee. He was elevated to the rank of sub-zonal committee member looking after Kharsawan, West Midnapore, Bankura and Purulia. Having left the party, Kisku said he was always on the move. “I and my followers are being threatened by my former party and there have been attempts to kill me.” He said he has gathered 200 youths in tribal areas of West Midnapore, Bankura and Purulia comprising Jungle Mahal. CPI-M activist gunned down A ruling Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) leader was killed when about 30 armed Maoist guerrillas attacked him in his home in a West Bengal village, police said Friday. Baren Singh, 30, was gunned down Thursday night in West Midnapore district’s Gohalbera village, about 130 km from here. “The rebels dragged Singh out of his home and shot him dead near Gohalbera village. The perpetrators fled the scene immediately after the incident,” a district police officer said. Singh spearheaded the anti-Maoist committee in the area and was a local CPI-M leader of Gohalbera village. He was attacked soon after he returned from the district block office.

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