Letter from your Editor

As many of you may have noticed the frequency of updates on Signalfire has gone down significantly in recent weeks. This website has always been the personal project of a single individual in the United States since it began its current incarnation five years ago.

For a variety of reasons I feel I am no longer in a position to provide a comprehensive daily review of news on both armed struggle in South Asia and the international Maoist movement. Firstly because there are other projects I consider politically important to which I am choosing to devote my time in a balance with unavoidable work and educational commitments leaving less of a margin for the extensive daily review of material required to maintain this service at a reasonable standard.

Secondly although I think the popular armed resistance led by the CPI (Maoist) is one of the few positive factors in a national context defined by growing fascist hegemony and a offensive against the working class and oppressed people I no longer consider the so called “International Communist Movement” with its proliferation of cultish microsects and blind worship of failed past movements to be worth promoting.

I have come to see Marxism-Leninism-Maoism as a theological idealism based upon a mythologization of the Cultural Revolution. If considered realistically the Cultural Revolution is a defining event of 20th century politics which marks the implosion of both state socialism as a mode of capital accumulation and the Leninist party as a political structure in correspondence with this. Maoism is a conservative effort to assimilate this rupture to a Stalinist continuity and is an obstacle to the possibilities of post-socialist and anti-theological communism.

Regardless of such differences the importance of defending comrades who are sacrificing their lives to defend popular survival rights against genocidal counter-insurgency policies is clear. However the cultish sectarianism of the “International Communist Movement” is not only irrelevant to the class struggle in most countries in which it exists it is also an obstacle to any serious global united front against fascism and repression in India.

Publishing hallucinatory statements about how “hundreds of millions” of workers and peasants are joining the “victorious people’s war” at a time when the Maoist forces in India have been pushed onto the defensive and the dangerous impasse in which the movement is stagnating is clear to anyone familiar with publicly available documents is not solidarity but irresponsible self-promotion.

Unfortunately this is precisely the sort of irresponsibility which can be expected from sectarian groups which instead of producing serious materialist criticism of setbacks like the defeat in Peru (not to speak of the absence of worker’s power in the periods of “actually existing socialism” they defend) continue to wallow in the metaphysics of the cult of personality.

Promoting the errors of such groups does nothing to advance worker’s struggles on a global level and it certainly does nothing to practically defend comrades in India who are facing the complexities of a actual war being waged against them by the state. The CPI (Maoist) whatever its many flaws is playing a indispensable role in protecting whole populations against displacement and destruction by big capital. Comrades in India who want to produce a substantive critique of that party face the difficult task of articulating a alternative extra-parliamentary politics among the overwhelming majority of urban and rural workers outside of the CPI (Maoist) area of influence.

Western Maoism on the other hand is simply irrelevant and the sooner people realize this, the sooner we can begin developing a communist politics which relates to 21st century reality. Nor is this exclusive to Maoism. Regurgitation of the sectarian platitudes of anarchism, Trotskyism or Stalinism in whatever variant and in however intellectually sophisticated a form has little to offer in a apocalyptic future which none of these prophets expected. There is no easy alternative answer, simply the necessity of systematic and rigorous theoretical work beginning from the basic materialist premises and united with modest and serious intervention in social reality.

I hope that you have found my daily updates useful over the years and I offer my heartfelt appreciation to everyone among my readership who is investing their energy and risking their lives to maintain the continuity of resistance in a situation which is becoming increasingly dismal both here and in South Asia.

Posted in capital and class, Editor's desk, Maoists India, news, resistance, war | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Letter from your Editor

People’s War in India Clippings 11/8/2016

Naxal killed in face-off with security forces in Chhattisgarh

A Naxal was on Thursday gunned down in an exchange of fire with security forces in the dense forest of Chhattisgarh’s insurgency-hit Bastar district, police said. The skirmish took place this morning while a joint team of District Reserve Group (DRG) and Special Task Force (STF) was conducting an anti-Maoist operation in the core jungle of Mardoom police station area, Bastar Superintendent of Police, RN Dash told PTI.
Acting on specific inputs, security personnel had launched the operation last night towards Tunder forest area of Mardoom, located around 350 kms away from the state capital Raipur. While security forces were cordoning off a forest pocket this morning, they were attacked by a squad of ultras belonging to Barsoor Area Committee of Maoist led by Vilash and Singhanna, the SP said.

The gun-battle lasted for about an hour before the ultras fled from the spot, he said. During the search, body of one male Maoist clad in ‘uniform’, two 315 bore rifles, one directional pipe bomb with its container and huge dump of other Naxal-related items were recovered from the spot, he added.


Woman Naxal gunned down

A woman Naxal was on Tuesday gunned down in an exchange of fire with security forces in the dense forest of insurgency-hit Rajnandgaon district, police said. The skirmish took place on a hill under Kohka police station area when a joint team of security forces was carrying out an anti-Maoist operation in the region, Rajandgaon Superintendent of Police, Prashant Agrawal said.

A composite squad of Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) and district force had launched the operation towards interiors of Kohka, around 200 km from state capital Raipur. While they were cordoning off Nagurtola hill, a group of armed rebels opened indiscriminate fire on them leading to a gun-battle between them, he said.

Soon the rebels escaped into core forests following which the security forces conducted a search during which the body of a woman rebel clad in ‘uniform’ was recovered, he said, adding the identity of the deceased was being ascertained. A 12-bore gun and several other Naxal-related materials, including items of daily use, were also seized from the spot, he added.


Godda cops raid Maoist hideout

Dumka: Godda police found 31 empty cans from a Maoist hideout in Jamunkoda village under Sundar Pahari police station area on Tuesday night. Naxal literature was also found during a search operation led by the sub-divisional police officer (SDPO) Abhishek Kumar. Godda SP Sanjiv Kumar said the empty cans were meant for making bombs that could be planted under proposed roads. No arrest has so far been made in this connection. The SP lauded the move of the villagers to report about the items to the police. “On the basis of the information, a team was formed for the search operation,” Kumar said.


IED planted by Maoists found in Jharkhand

Medininagar (Jharkhand), Aug 9 (PTI) Security personnel today recovered an IED planted by Maoists below Kala Pahar- Mahudand road in naxal-affected Palamau district, police said. The Maoists has planted the five kg IEDs under the jurisdiction of Chatarpur police station to target security personnel, Superintendent of Police Mayur Patel said. The recovery was made during an anti-Maoists campaign launched jointly by the CRPF and District Armed Police. The Bomb Disposal squad members defused the explosive. Patel said desperate Maoists wanted to target the security personnel who have launched operations against the banned ultra group. The IED was detected at the spot where seven security personnel had lost their lives in a landmine blast triggered by the rebels a few months ago.


Police release photos of suspected Maoists

The district police also launched an intensive combing operation at the bordering areas following rumours of Maoist movement.The district police and intelligence agencies on Monday published the photos of 12 persons, including a woman, in a notice stating that they are Maoists. on the notice boards of police stations and check posts bordering Kerala. The persons whose images were published in the list are Velmurugan, Yogeshmathan, Murthy, Palanivel, Karthik alias Kannan alias Gopi, Kalidass, Dasarathan, Sathiya Mary alias Padma, Manivasagam alias Mani and two others.

Contact details

The list also had the contact details of the respective police stations, the office and mobile number of the Deputy Superintendent of Police and the special branch police. This has taken place only days after Kerala Police released the images of 35 Maoists. The district police also launched an intensive combing operation at the bordering areas following rumours of Maoist movement. However, a senior district police officer said that they are on the look out for these accused for more than two years.


Suspected Maoist produced in court

Suspected Maoist Mahalingam (63), who was arrested in Tiruchur district in Kerala last month, was produced before Andipatti Magistrate Court on Monday in connection with the case registered for arms training on Varushandu hill near here. Magistrate V. Baskaran adjourned the case till August 22. Later, Mahalingam was taken back to Madurai Central Prison. The police said Mahalingam was arrested on a charge of taking up arms training on Varushanadu hill in 2007. He was released on conditional bail in 2009. But, he did not appear before the court when required. Acting on a tip-off, a special police team arrested him in Tiruchur last month.


Maoists welcome Soni Sori’s march, but without tricolour

In an audio statement released on Monday, the Central Committee [CC] of the outlawed Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) has “appealed” to the tribal activist and Aam Aadmi Party [AAP] leader in south Chattisgarh, Soni Sori, to refrain from hoisting the national flag in the partially rebel controlled areas of south Chattisgarh. On Tuesday, Ms. Sori started a weeklong march from Dantewada in south Chattisgarh to hoist the national flag at Gompad village in the adjacent Sukma district. But following the Maoist “appeal”, it may not be very safe for her to march to Gompad and raise the tricolour on Independence Day. “The police tortured you [and] the officer, Ankit Garg, [who] is responsible for attacks on you, are protected by the same tricolour and [thus] we would request you to refrain from raising it on August 15,” the Maoist audio statement said.

The statement further claimed that it is not only Ms. Sori but all the political outfits, including mainstream parties like the “Communist Party of India [CPI], or even the Congress”, and a host of civil liberties or women’s groups and journalists, that are routinely under attack by the security forces in south Chattisgarh. “As you know, all these groups, who are mainly tribals, are targeted from all sides by a State, which is continuing with a multi-level oppression against the tribals. Is it reasonable for you to raise the flag of that State?” the statement said.

However, the statement, read by the spokesperson of CC, Vikalp Dandak, also underscored that the party welcomes Ms. Sori’s decision to march through Maoist-controlled areas to Gompad, where a villager was raped and killed recently. “We do not oppose the march as it would highlight the atrocities committed by the security personnel, but just oppose the hoisting of the tricolour,” the statement said.


Magisterial inquiry into Maoist death on Aug 12

Visakhapatnam: The Paderu sub-collector is to conduct a magisterial inquiry into the death of three Maoists belonging to the Galikonda area committee, who were killed in an exchange of fire with the security forces in Visakha Agency On May 4, at his office on August 12. Three naxals – V Gopal alias Azad of Karakavanipalem in Pendurthi mandal, Julumuri Chinnayya alias Anand of Addateegala mandal of East Godavari and Kamala of Visakha district — were allegedly killed in an exchange of fire at Marripakalu-Palasamudram area at Puttakota forest in Koyyuru mandal. While security forces had claimed that they killed the Maoists during exchange of fire, there have been allegations that the firing was one sided and the cops allegedly killed the naxals even after they offered to surrender.


Maoists kill STF jawan in encounter

Patna/Munger: One Special Task Force (STF) jawan was killed on late Tuesday night in an encounter with Maoists at Kanimoi hill located under Kajra police station area in Lakhisarai district. Lakhisarai SP Ashok Kumar Sinha confirmed the casualty and said when the security forces, comprising the STF, CRPF and district police, were proceeding towards a Maoist hideout in the hilly area on Tuesday night, the Reds started indiscriminate firing. An STF jawan, Ajay Kumar Mandal (32), resident of village Naugachhia in Bhagalpur district, sustained gunshot injury and died before any medical aid could be provided. According to CRPF sources, the combing operation started around 8pm following on input of arms being dumped in the area. The STF jawan was injured around 2.15am. The police also opened retaliatory firing. The slain jawan’s body was sent to Munger Sadar hospital for post-mortem. After giving salute to the martyred jawan at the Munger police line, the body was sent to his native place at Naugachhia.


Four Maoists held in Chhattisgarh

Raipur, Aug 8: Four Naxals were today arrested and a powerful tiffin bomb was recovered from them in Chhattisgarh’s insurgency-hit Bastar district, police said. Acting on a tip-off, the cadres were nabbed from Sulenga village under Mardoom police station limits by a joint team of security forces, Bastar Superintendent of Police RN Dash told PTI.

A composite squad of District Reserve Group (DRG), Chhattisgarh Armed Force (CAF) and a team of local police were dispatched to Sulenga, located around 400 kms away from here, following inputs about the location of the ultras there, he said. Those held were identified as Gangoram (30), Budhram (32), Mallu (30) and Kaje (30), all jan militia members of the banned CPI (Maoist), Dash added. Besides, a 10 kg tiffin bomb, a detonator, Maoist banners, posters, crackers, electricity wire and other items of daily use were also seized from their possession, the SP said.


Posted in Maoists India, prisons, resistance, war | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments Off on People’s War in India Clippings 11/8/2016

Passing of communist activist and union militant Himadri Sen Roy

Veteran Communist leader and Trade Union activist Com. Himadri Sen Roy is no more with us. He was suffering from cancer from the time when he was in the prison. He was arrested on February 2008 by the special task force of West Bengal police. State claimed that he was the West Bengal state committee secretary of Communist Party of India(Maoist) on that time.
He was released on bail just a few months ago after some long legal fights and mass movements in demand of unconditional release of all the political prisoners.



Posted in capital and class, Editor's desk, Maoists India, resistance, war | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off on Passing of communist activist and union militant Himadri Sen Roy

People’s War in India Clippings 8/8/2016

Naxal absconding since 1996 nabbed from Gondia

BHOPAL : The Balagaht police, on Monday, arrested naxal commander of Devri Dalam from village Magejhari-Deori of Gondia district of Maharashtra on Monday. The Dalam commander had ambushed a police party in 1996. IG Balaghat Naxal operations, DC Sagar informed that the Dalam commander Bhagwan Taram alias Manik and others had attacked the joint interstate police party of Balaghat and Gondia in Dhiri-Murum jungle on 3rd March 1996. In the ambush, one policeman of Maharashtra police force had received gunshots and the then SP Mukesh Gupta had a narrow escape.

In the cross-firing four naxal were killed, including three women. A case was registered under section 147,148,149,307 of IPC and 25, 27 of Arms Act in Bahela police station. Since the attack, the accused was absconding. A court had issued a permanent arrest warrant against the accused. On a tip off, four constables of Lanjhi police station arrested him from his native place in Maharashtra.


Four naxal sympathisers held in Chhattisgarh

Four persons were arrested from Kondgaon district today for allegedly working at the behest of naxals and indulging in looting and assaulting a tribal family, police said. “The Naxal sympathisers were nabbed from Mardapal police station area by a joint team of security forces,” Kondagaon superintendent of police, Santosh Singh told PTI…


Maharashtra Police will use modern gadgets to keep tight vigil on terror groups: DGP

Under its new DGP, Maharashtra Police is working on a two-pronged strategy of improving intelligence gathering about terror groups and connecting better with citizens. The Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) is also being equipped with modern gadgets and a strategy is being firmed up to effectively counter propaganda from outfits like ISIS, said Satish Mathur, who took over as DGP a week ago. “As a first step, police personnel will visit each and every household in their jurisdiction to connect with people to get real-time intelligence inputs from society about anti-social and terror activities,” he told reporters last night.


Three Maoists gunned down in anti-naxal operation in Chhattisgarh

Raipur: In a major anti-naxal operation, three Maoists, including a woman, were on Friday gunned down in an encounter with security forces in Chhattisgarh’s insurgency- hit Dantewada district, police said. The encounter took place early on Friday in the forests of Kacheghat area under Faraspal police station limits when a team of state’s District Reserve Group (DRG) was out on an anti-naxal operation in the region, Dantewada Superintendent of Police Kamlochan Kashyap said…


Naxal carrying Rs 3 lakh bounty held in Chhattisgarh

A wanted Naxal, carrying a reward of Rs three lakh on his head for his alleged involvement in over 21 criminal cases, was arrested in Bijapur district today, police said. “Padam Mangu, a member of Indravati National Park Area Committee of ultras, was nabbed from his native place Palnar village under Gangaloor police station limits,” Bijapur Superintendent of Police, KL Dhruv told PTI.


Chhattisgarh: Two naxals killed in encounter in Bastar district

Two Maoists were today killed in a gunfight with security forces in the dense forests of Bastar district, police said. “The skirmish took place in the evening in the restive Chandometa village forests, bordering Odisha, under Darbha police station limits of the district when a joint team of security forces was carrying out an anti-naxal operation,” Inspector General of Police (Bastar Range) SRP Kalluri told PTI over phone.
Based on specific inputs, composite forces of DRG (District Reserve Group), STF (Special Task Force) and district force had launched the operation on July 27 towards Chandometa forests bordering Odisha’s Tulsi village which is considered as a naxal den, he said…


Gujarat sleuths laud Maha ANO for inputs on Naxals

Nagpur: The exhaustive inputs on the network of frontal organizations of Naxalites collected by Maharashtra’s security agencies, especially the state Anti-Naxal Operation (ANO), has been lauded by Gujarat intelligence personnel, who visited the city a couple of days ago to meet a top official. The Gujarat intelligence wing was compelled to take cognisance of a TOI report in July , exposing the plans of some front organizations and so-called socialist activists to organize a three-day national convention in Ahmedabad. The main theme of the convention, which focused on the Naxal slogan of `jal, jungle and zameen’, was organized to debate Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s policies and several decisions, including the land acquisition enactment.

Gujarat intelligence personnel were shocked to learn that frontal organizations and some leftist-socialist bodies were me eting under their nose to instigate anti-Modi sentiments. The officials immediately swung into action to intervene. The convention was held under strict surveillance, it is learnt. The coordinators of the convention have now been put under surveillance. After taking action on a warfooting during the convention, the Gujarat officials landed in Nagpur to meet an officer from intelligence network wing to exchange information on the Naxal front organizations and its spreading network of front organizations.

Earlier this year, state ANO had declared the presence of around 55 front organizations and their heightened activities along the Maharashtra-Gujarat border, especially in the tribal and backward stretches, to fuel anti-government sentiments.The state ANO had also earlier brought to light the strategy adopted by front organizations to gain mass base and support in remote hamlets for Naxal activities.


Lack of cell connectivity in Maoist areas worries police

“Maoists intercepted VHF communication in recent incidents of attacks”

Communication is a problem for the security forces and the way out is communicating through cell phones, as they cannot be intercepted. —File Photo: K.R. Deepak In three out of last five attacks or ambushes on security forces by the Maoists in Andhra Odisha Border (AOB) and Chhattisgarh, the exact position of the security forces was known to the Maoists as their VHF communication was intercepted.

Similarly, on many occasions in recent times, the Maoists gave the slip in the last minute to the security forces during combing operations as the location of the security forces, including that of the elite anti-naxal force Greyhounds, was known by intercepting the hand-held VHF set communication between the scouts of the combing parties.

Every combing team is equipped with at least two hand-held VHF sets. One is given to the opening scout and the other to the rear guard. And they communicate with each other. This communication is being intercepted by the left wing extremists, surrendered and arrested Naxalites disclosed.

Though the sets are scrambled and messages cannot be deciphered, the location can be pinpointed. This is enough for Maoists to move to safety or plan a counter attack, said a