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

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Unacceptable under the Geneva Convention

The People’s Union for Democratic Rights (PUDR) unequivocally denounces the 20 November incident in which eight bogies of the Tata-Bilaspur passenger train were derailed, near Manoharpur railway station in West Singhbhum district of Jharkhand, by the armed cadres of the Communist Party of India (Maoist) [CPI(Maoist)], and two persons, including a two-year old, died and 51 were injured. The derailment, allegedly using detonators, was caused during a two-day bandh on 19-20 November, when, according to local Maoist leaders, they were demanding that one of their arrested leaders be produced in court. However, Samarji, secretary Bihar-Jharkhand-Orissa regional committee of the CPI(Maoist), is reported to have claimed that the “mistake” occurred because of “overzealous new recruits”. PUDR has time and again pointed out that political formations which offer armed resistance cannot evade their responsibility to prevent civilian casualties. Incidents like this suggest reckless acts by a poorly disciplined force.

We remain concerned that such “mistakes” continue to occur a little too frequently. They are considered unacceptable under the Geneva Convention and other humanitarian laws which govern war/ armed conflict.

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