The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Tuesday, July 19 conducted intense search operations at the residences of alleged Communist Party of India-Maoist sympathisers and the widow of Maoist leader Ramakrishna in Andhra Pradesh. The searches were conducted in Alakurapadu village of Tangutur mandal. The officials of NIA raided the residence of G Kalyan Rao, a poet and leader of Viplava Rachayitala Sangham (Revolutionary Writers’ Association) and Sirisha, wife of top Maoist leader Ramakrishna or RK who died last year.
Such search operations undertaken by the police are unwarranted and are in tandem with the neo-fascism prevailing today which crushes all dissent into the dust. Even those critical of the practice of Maoists must recognize the right to fair trial or procedure and must unconditionally condemn framing of democratic activists in the garb ‘Maoists. ‘It is unconstitutional not to produce a warrant and suppress people from upholding ‘Maoist’ ideas. History of repression of the 1980’s and later decades is repeating itself in a cruder form, with thousands of mass activists like of ‘Virasam’, falsely implicated like Kasim,its former secretary .. An organised civil liberties movement is the need of the hour.
The search operations were conducted with the connivance of local police. The police personnel surrounded the houses and conducted searched on the pretext that those having links with Maoists may have resorted to shelter there. The NIA also undertook search operations at two places in Vijayawada. The officials searched the residence of Doddi Prabhakar and another house where four youth from Chhattisgarh were reportedly staying on rent. Officials reportedly suspect that cash transfers to Maoists were made from the area. The details of the outcome of the search operations were not known.
Meanwhile, reacting to searches at her residence, Sirisha alleged that she was being mercilessly tormented in the name of searches. She said at a time when she was unwell and yet not overcome the grief due to the death of her husband, the officials were harassing her with the allegation that some unknown persons had taken shelter at her house. “I have not committed any crime,” she said.
Sirisha is the sister-in-law of Kalyan Rao who along with Ramakrishna had taken part in peace talks between Maoist party members and the Andhra Pradesh government in 2004. The NIA had conducted similar search operations at their residence late last year.
Significant that such raids were conducted just a few days after the staging of the AMBS (Committee of Friends and Relatives of the Martyrs).Conference.Kalyana Rao raised his voice to all those who sacrificed their lives and to those who are jailed and suffering another kind of violence inside the jails and continuous delays in their cases specially of those whose cases still undertrail, He dedicated words to all those who have died since the last meeting and made a mention of Dapu Ramesh tomb being vandalised which only meant that his voice, and his songs are still as strong as they ever were. Professor Haragopal also spoke. During his speech he recalled the cruelty with which some of the prisoners are treated like Prof. Saibaba.
Harsh Thakor is freelance journalist who has covered mass movements all over India