By killing an innocent Doordarshan Journalist, Achyutananda Sahu and two security personnel in Dantewada district on Tuesday, Naxalites have reiterated that they will go to any extent in order to disrupt the electoral process.
Naxals never stop from executing their act of cowardice. As soon as elections approach they do something to affect it. Their goal is to spread terror. We won't be scared: Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh on Naxal attack in #Dantewada pic.twitter.com/PliQUaEede
— NDTV (@ndtv) October 30, 2018
As Naxals are against the Democratic set-up, during election season they carry out mindless killings, bomb blasts, burn polling stations, destroy infrastructure which is required to set up polling stations etc. On the first day of 2009 Lok Sabha elections the Naxals killed 17 people: five election officials died in a landmine explosion in Rajnandgaon, Chhattisgarh; a bus carrying Border Security Force personnel on election duty was attacked in Latehar, Jharkhand killing nine; and in Gaya, Bihar, two police were shot outside a polling booth, electronic voting machines were stolen, and four election officials were kidnapped.
Naxals believe, “Parliament is an instrument of oppression and terror in the hands of the reactionary ruling classes, Boycott the parliamentary election! Advance the people’s war to establish organs of genuine people’s revolutionary-democratic power!! (sic).”
By carrying out violent and mindless acts, they intend to make their presence felt in their area of influence. This time also the Naxals are putting their best of efforts to mock the electoral process by issuing threats to the people in Bastar region. Ahead of the first phase of Chhattisgarh elections, Naxalites are distributing pamphlets and conducting meetings in Bastar region, and have asked the people to boycott the BJP during the elections. The CPI (Maoists) has issued pamphlets titled as “boycott fake Chhattisgarh elections.”
One of the pamphlets issues diktats to villagers to kick out what it calls “corporate and Hindu fascist BJP” and help to bring ‘other’ political parties who come to ask for vote within the ambit of people’s court (read Kangaroo courts). The way these courts operate can well be known by one of the incidents of Surjuga, Chhattisgarh, in the year 2001. Naxals gunned down three suspected defectors in front of journalists, government officials and a large public audience after a public trial. Jonathan Kennedy in his research paper writes, “The decapitated bodies of police informers are often displayed in public with notes describing their crimes and warning others tempted to inform that they will meet the same fate. There are other reports of suspected informers having their hands or legs chopped off with axes. In all of these cases the message is clear: if you collaborate with the state, you will be punished with brutal violence.” The Naxals, frustrated about the crackdown and all-out campaigns by the BJP-led government at both state and centre, have been very particular about boycotting the BJP and this says a lot about BJP’s need further as far as leadership is concerned.
One of the pamphlets accessed by the Economic Times in jungles of Bastar region reads, “Desi Videshi Corporate gharana prastha va brahmanya Hindutva fasiwadi Bhajpa ko mar bhagao. Vote mangane ane wale anya sansadi dalo ko jan adalat ke katghare me khada karo (throw out indigenous and foreign corporate houses friendly and Brahminical Hindutva fascist BJP. Bring the rest of the political parties to people’s court).”
Another pamphlet issued by the CPI (Maoists) reads, “Farzi Chhattisgarh Vidhan Sabha ka Chunao ka Bahiskar karo. Jantana Sarkar ko majboot karenge unka vistar karenge. Janyudhya ko tej karke, daman yojna-samadhan ko harayenge (Boycott fake Chhattisgarh Vidhan Sabha election. Strengthen and expand people’s government. Speed up people’s war to defeat the oppressive regime).”
Naxals resort to inhumane ways of torturing people who exercise their voting rights. If they see ink-mark on voter’s finger, it is simply chopped off. In the last Chhattisgarh polls, the voters in Naxal prone area wanted to vote but without ink. This time too there is buzz about Naxals issuing threats to villagers that their hands will be be chopped if ink spotted on fingers.
The Security forces are working day and night to ensure free, fair and safe conduct of elections in areas prone to Naxal terror. All the candidates have been provided with adequate security. Security forces with full preparedness have been deployed in the state. The state government is carrying awareness campaigns and asking people to come out and vote in large numbers.