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The Rediff Interview/Maoist leader Kishenji
Maoist leader: Our way will ensure peace and justice
October 22, 2009
Maoist leader Koteshwar Rao alias Kishenji is the most sought after man in West Bengal [Images] at the moment.
Kishanji told rediff.com around 2 pm on Thursday that his party was willing to release the abducted police officer Atindranath Dutta. The Maoist leader's reaction came shortly after the court granted bail to 19 tribal women from Lalgarh held by security forces.
Prior to this, late on Wednesday night, in a candid conversation with rediff.com's Indrani Roy Mitra from an undisclosed location, Kishenji talked about his party's ideology, the path of violence, and the problems faceed by tribals in Lalgarh, among other things.
The country wants to know if the abducted police officer is safe. How is he?
He is safe and absolutely fine. He is our prisoner of war and we will pay him due respect. The moment the security forces free the women they have 'unlawfully' held from Jangalmahal and the forces step back from Lalgarh, we will release him. It is a promise.
What if they don't? What will be the fate of Atindranath Dutta then?
Who has seen the future? If our demand is not met, we will have to chalk out some other strategy.
You said he is your 'prisoner of war'. You cannot kill him, right, even if your demand is not met?
Please don't talk about violence now. Didn't I tell you Dutta is safe? Don't you trust me?
How can we trust you, especially after you killed two of Dutta's colleagues mercilessly on Tuesday?
We do admit we killed the two policemen. But I fail to understand why the media only talks about our 'follies'.
Why is it never mentioned that the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party [Images] killed 1,400 people in Chhattisgarh, their joint forces raped hundreds of rural women there. Who is to blame for State-sponsored violence? Do you ever hear politicians claiming responsibility for such 'heinous crimes'?
You mean to say you have no faith in the democratic system?
We have nothing against the democratic process. But we feel the independence that we acquired is a fake one. It only strengthened those in power. The rich became richer and the poor, poorer.
Those in power are not doing anything for the improvement of the lot of the tribals. Take the case of Lalgarh, for instance. The problem rose from the state government's negligence and indifference. The ruling party never did anything to help the tribals of the area.
Are you accusing the ruling Left Front government of West Bengal?
Who else? They are the main culprits.
It is alleged by the Left Front that there is a nexus between your party and the opposition Trinamool Congress [Images].
I am so tired of answering this same question over and over again. The TMC and Left Front are but two sides of the same coin. They just use the people as election planks. None of the parties intend to do anything good for the country.
But the central government had to take the help of security forces because of widespread violence in Lalgarh. It is alleged the People's Committee Against Police Atrocities acting under your aegis had thrown peace out of the window�
The governments always eye areas like Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Lalgarh. All these areas are rich in mineral reserves.
In collusion with multinational corporations, they take possession of these areas for material benefits. Your (Union Home Minister) P Chidambaram [Images] is acting like an agent of America. How long will you keep denying that?
You think you can bring justice to the people of these areas through violence? How optimistic are you of achieving your goals?
We believe in ourselves and are full of hope. We are certain that peace and justice will prevail soon through our ways.
It is heard that two young women led the Sankrail operation. It is also said that many educated people are aligning with you. How do you make sensible and educated people follow your path of violence?
We appeal to the masses to join our movement to bring about justice and peace. You term it 'violence', we see it as our struggle for independence. We are fighting for the people. It is natural, therefore, that some sensible minds will align with us.
Will you agree, if the governments both at the state and the Centre talk to you amicably, to give up violence?
Who has seen the future? Let's see how the state government handles the present situation. We will decide our next plan of action afterwards.
The Rediff Interviews