Noting that the killing of Chhattisgarh PCC Chief Nand Kumar Patel’s son Dinesh Patel in the May 25 Darbha assault was a “big mistake”,Maoists have said that while the party “achieved historic success in eliminating Mahendra Karma,the attack also involved some gambheer galtiyan (serious mistakes).”
The statement,in the form of questionnaire,came from Ramanna,secretary of Dandakaranya Special Zonal Committee of CPI (Maoist). It was issued on October 10 and released to mediapersons last night.
Ramanna,significantly,did not apologise for the killings,as is being reported by a section of the media. He only clarified his party’s stand on the killings of innocents and emphasised that “we have already expressed regret for it”. The word apology does not figure in the seven-page questionnaire,of which only three questions relate to the party’s analysis of the Darbha attack.
However,unlike their statement issued days after the incident when they justified the killing of Patel,they now termed the killing as “not correct”. He admitted that that the killing of Dinesh Patel was “a big mistake as he did not have any anti-people record. Our PLGA command that led this attack took this decision in haste.”
He also rejected that the attack was a political conspiracy and said “BJP and Congress workers are making allegations against each other for electoral gains. It shows their political bankruptcy.”
Ramanna also confirmed that Patel,as the home minister ten years ago,had suppressed our movement but since the Congress is not in power for the last ten years and he was not against our movement “we should not have killed him”. Ramanna noted that Patel had also raised voice against “Sarkeguda and Ehadsameta massacres”. He,however,added a rider by saying that “though there is no doubt that the people in Chhattisgarh are being suppressed only on behalf of Congress-UPA government at the Centre.”
Noting that several persons were killed in crossfire between their cadres and security forces,Ramanna said that “some precautions during the firing could have reduced the casualties and we are training our men to ensure such incidents do not recur”.
In fact,his explanatory tone over the Darbha attack becomes clear by the party’s contrasting stand on the murder of journalist Nemichand Jain in February in Sukma. A month after Jain was murdered by local Maoists,they invited some Bastar journalists and expressed a strong apology. In his latest statement,Ramanna expressed “deep sympathy for Jain’s relatives and friends on behalf of the special zonal committee.”
“The incident took place due to wrong estimation and a conservative decision of our lower committee. We are deeply aggrieved by it.”
This sympathy and grief was not expressed for the Darbha victims.