ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Through the Eyes of Police

Gautam Navlakha, in his review of the book, The Naxalites: Through the Eyes of Police – Select Notifications from the Calcutta Police Gazette 1967-75, has rightly observed that it “is a riveting selection of a new source for both readers and scholars” (September 8). However, he has not mentioned that the book includes a statement of Charu Mazumdar running into about 10,000 words. The police claimed that Mazumdar volunteered to make the statement, which contains exhaustive details of the organisational structure of the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist), the number and the nature of party cells, names of cadres who attended the cell meetings, the emergence of various factions, the mechanism of collecting funds, and the like. Mazumdar was arrested on July 16, 1972 and died in police custody within 10 days. He was then very sick. It is very difficult to believe that a man who was suffering from chronic cardiac asthma and other ailments and was about to die could give such a consistent and coherent statement. Most importantly, Mazumdar did not sign it. A close colleague of Mazumdar, Sadhan Kumar Ghosh, had also questioned the police claim on the veracity of the statement. The editor Ashoke Kumar Mukhopadhyay provides this in a postscript. Certainly, the statement was cooked up by the police to discredit Mazumdar and to demoralise his loyal followers.

A K Dasgupta

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