The other day Indian Maoists released two government officials they had abducted a few days back. The mainstream media, that portrays the Maoists as terrorists were celebrating the release saying the pressure put up by the people forced the Maoists to release the officials. However its now clear that the government had to accept the demands put forward by the Maoists and it was following this the release was made possible. And a quick glance through the demands the Maoists made make it clear that its for the people they abducted the officials. Here are some of the demands.
(1) The release of some of their leaders including central committee members Sheela di (jailed in Jharkhand) and Padma (in Chhattisgarh) owing to their ill-health;(2) Withdrawal of all cases against tribals and the workers of Chasi Mulia Adivasi Sangha (Hundreds of adivasis are languishing in jail) (3) ST status for the Konda Reddy and Nukadora communities categorized as OBCs; (4) stopping the multi-purpose Polavaram project of Andhra Pradesh; (5) 'pattas' (record of rights) to tribals dispossessed of their land in Malkangiri and Koraput; (6) irrigation in Maribada and Maniamkonda villages in Malkangiri; (7) compensation based on HC order to Tadangi Gangulu and Ratanu Sirika who died of disease allegedly due to torture; (8) relevant laws for mining operations in Mali and Deomali bauxite mines; (9) minimum displacement of tribals and adequate compensation.
In all the CPI (Maoist) put forward 14 demands and it is learned that almost all the demands have been accepted by the government. Thousands of tribals in Narayanpatna had been agitating for restoration of rights over their lands. But the governments were turning a deaf ear to their demand. However following the abduction, the government has agreed to distribute it. Similarly the government has dropped 9,013 cases involving petty offences against the tribals following the release of the collector.