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Does ‘Hyderabad Rape’ police encounter remind us of how Naxals were killed in Bengal?

7 December, 2019 00:25:26
Does ‘Hyderabad Rape’ police encounter remind us of how Naxals were killed in Bengal?

You are released… Run and go home… within a minute as the young man started running to what he thought was freedom, he was gunned down. Yes, that’s how Naxals of Bengal were killed in fake police encounters on Kolkata roads and many say former Bengal Chief Minister Siddhartha Shankar Ray always had blood on his hands. However, he was one man credited with taming the Naxal violence in Bengal where over 1,600 lives were reportedly lost during the 1972-77 Congress rule. There were allegations galore of extra-judicial killings during this period.

Ray's success as chief minister was, however, clouded by allegations that he had mooted the imposition of Emergency in the country which was imposed by Indira Gandhi, the then Prime Minister. Gandhi had so much faith in Ray that she even brought him as the governor of Punjab during the Khalistan Movement and in a similar way successfully put down the rebellion.

In an interview to the Outlook, Ray had said: “I think the Emergency was perfect. But the excesses were bad and nobody could stop it. I know those who were responsible for the excesses but I will not name them.’ It was during his tenure as Bengal’s Chief Minister that the Naxalite Movement, which began as a peasants’ movement in Naxalbari in North Bengal in 1967, gathered momentum by making inroads among college and university students of Kolkata.

Naxalite leader Charu Majumder’s doctrine of annihilation of political opponents triggered off a killing spree and spun off a culture of personal violence in the state. Supported by a public rejection of Majumder’s ‘annihilation line,’ the West Bengal police under Ray could effectively intervene in countering the Naxalites and bring an end to the movement by sheer terror, wiping out meritorious young students who were picked up from their homes, later released and gunned down. Many accused Ray of violating human rights.

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