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Maoists, Muslim fundamentalists to fight 'state terror' together

CITHARA PAUL

Posted online: Friday, June 13, 2008 at 2324 hrs

http://www.indianexpress.com/story/322152.html

 

New Delhi, June 12: Maoists and Muslim fundamentalists ― they may seem to be the most unlikely partners. But in a move which is rife with much internal contradictions and political ramifications, the two are coming together to forge a national platform to combat "state terror".

Calling themselves "the victims of state terror", the two improbable partners had sat together for the first time and called for resistance against all kinds of terror unleashed by the State and Central governments against Maoists and Muslims. The meeting was held in Kerala last month.

The main forces behind the move are ― 'Porattom', a Maoist group having base in South India, Minority Watch, a human rights organisation suspected of having close links with the banned Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) and National Democratic Front (NDF), a radical Muslim group accused of having similar links with the banned Islamic Sevak Sangh (ISS).

"Maoists and Muslims share the similar plight of being the victims of the state terror. The best way to eliminate anyone who raises his voice against the wrong doings of the State is to brand him as a Naxalite. Similar is the plight of Muslim brethren. Whenever and wherever there is a terrorist attack, the community as a whole is brought under the eye of suspicion. Every Muslim is being treated as a potential terrorist. It is in this background that we have decided to join hands to combat this state sponsored terrorism," said Ravunni, general convener of Porattom.

Nazaruddeen Elamarom of the NDF also echoed similar views. "The Maoists and the Muslims are the worst affected victims of state terror. We are the favourite whipping boys of the Government as we are clubbed together as anti-nationals. And this is the common thread that connects the two," he said. According to him, it is for the first time that the Naxalites and Muslim groups are coming together for espousing a similar cause.

Nazarudden maintained that the fight would be against the upper caste ruling elite forces of Hindutva and imperialism who have the agenda of hunting down Maoists and Muslims. "This is for upholding human rights and to stop the fascists," he added.

The agenda of the Maoist-Muslim joint platform group includes withdrawal of ban on SIMI and a total full stop to encounter killings. They also want the Naxalites to be given the treatment of war prisoners.

According to Ravunni, they are in touch with many other Maoist and Muslim groups across the country. "We are planning to hold our next meetings in Bangalore and Calcutta. We would be deciding upon the nature and structure of the joint platform in those meetings and it would have a pan Indian nature," he said. Ravunni said that the meeting has brought together two victim groups together and the rest of the fight would be fought together.

Acknowledging that it was an unlikely alliance, Ravunni said: "A lot of complexities are involved in this coming together." "But we would unite to fight against the common enemy putting aside differences in their ideologies," he added.

The meeting was also attended by some civil society movements including Confederation of Human Rights Organisation (CHRO) and People's Union Civil Liberty (PUCL) working against encounter killings and anti-terror laws.

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