Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Campaign Against NCTC in Punjab

Campaign Against NCTC in Punjab

The Democratic Front Against Operation Green Hunt Punjab, undertook a state-wide campaign against the Central Govt’s decision to establish National Counter Terrorism Center and invest its officers with powers of arrest, search and seizure under the draconian Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. In the first phase of this campaign, well attended conventions were held at Bathinda, Amritsar & Moga. In these conventions Dr. Parminder Singh, Convener, and Advocate N.K.Jeet State Committee Member of the DFAOGH, were the main speakers, who explained various aspects of the NCTC & its back ground. Advocate Rajiv Godara – a Chandigarh based lawyer and rights activist, Prof Jagmohan Singh General Secretary AFDR, Sh. Narbhinder Singh & Pritpal Singh both SCM of the DFAOGH also spoke. The speakers were unanimous in condemning the establishment of NCTC as a move for intensifying attacks on the struggling people under the garb of fighting terrorism, dovetailing Indian security concerns with that of the USA, involving US armed forces & intelligence agencies in the internal security of India and protecting interest of imperialist MNCs.

Speaking in these conventions Advocate N.K.Jeet traced the involvement of US Intelligence agencies in the internal security matters of India, since the permission granted by Vajpayee Govt to FBI to establish its outpost in New Delhi in the year 2000, to keep watch on US interests in India, Bangla Desh, Bhutan, Nepal, Maldives etc. It got further strengthened with the signing of New Framework Agreement for US-India Defence Relationship in 2005, Agriculture Knowledge Initiative and the 123 Nuclear Agreement. The main purpose of these agreements was to thrust upon the Indians the dangerous GM foods, nuclear power plants, arms etc, exploit and expropriate India’s natural wealth and cheap labor and ruthlessly crush any opposition to it. He pointed out the dangers of this move by depicting the situation in Pakistan & Afghanistan and the brutalities being perpetuated by US and NATO forces there, upon the people. Highlighting the US designs in this regard, he quoted extensively from the testimony of Frank J. Cilluffo, Director Homeland Security Policy Institute, George Washington University, given before the US House of Representative Committee on Foreign Affairs on Sept 14, 2011, wherein he advocated an aggressive & pro-active “Counter-terrorism” policy, involving the police, security, intelligence & military institutions; undertaking covert operations; using drone attacks; Public-privte participation in intelligence gathering and security operations, with full backing and involvement of US forces; introduction of non-state actors (like Salwa Judam etc)  “to act as a force multiplier” against the “adversaries”. He specifically drew attention of the people towards 15 day long anti-terrorist joint exercise by Indian and US armed forces, beginning March 5, 2012 in Bathinda Cantonement, which shows the involvement of not only Indian but US army too in the counter-insurgency operations being undertaken in the garb of Operation Green Hunt. Giving details of various cases registered under the UAPA in Punjab, he pointed out that the police has falsely implicated mass leaders of various farmers’ and agri-labourers’ organizations, in these cases for their opposition to neo-liberal economic policies. He called upon the people to oppose the setting up of NCTC as it is aimed against the struggling people.

Dr. Parminder Singh, Profesor Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, said that the neo-liberal policies being pursued by the Indian rulers are anti-people and anti-national. These are devastating the lives of the majority of Indian people. Govt is handing over on platter the national wealth and national exchequer of India to the imperialist MNCs to ensure their super profits, while the farmers, agricultural laborers, industrial workers, small traders, salaried persons, and other sections of toiling masses are left to suffer hunger, deprivation, disese etc. Reversing land reforms, farmers are being deprived of their lands and uprooted in the name of SEZ, NIMZ, nuclear plants, housing complexes; infrastructure etc. There is wide spread resentment amongst the people, which is finding its expression through struggles taking place in various parts of the country. NCTC, UAPA, AFSPA etc are measures to crush these struggles. He exhorted that struggles against NCTC & black laws are essential to save the peoples lives & liberties.

Professor Jagmohan Singh, speaking in the convention at Moga traced the history of black laws in India and its close link with imperialist exploitation. He said the the first preventive detention law was promulgated in Bengal, closely on the heels of the East India Company getting trade rights. Similarly with the onset of Agriculture Knowledge Initiative & 123 Nuclear Agreement, (which promote trade in GM foods and nuclear power plants) preparations to establish NCTC & make UAPA more stringent have started. He called upon the people to follow Shaheed Bhagat Singh’s message from the gallows: “Down With Imperialism”, “Long Live the Revolution”. He beautifully explained the pro- rich character of the trickle down theory of development being shamelessly espoused by neo-liberal economists.

Resolutions were passed in these conventions demanding scrapping of NCTC, UAPA, AFSPA, Sedition and other black laws,  and putting an end to the culture of encounter killings.      

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