Indian Communists protest US involvement in country's internal affairs

Friday, May 26, 2006

The Congress-Left coalition government at the Centre was asked by the Communist Party of India to advise the government of the state of Chattisgarh not to accept any offer by the U.S.A. to help combat Naxalism in the area. The CPI also expressed concern at the fact that a foreign country was being allowed to interfere in India's internal affairs.

Communist Party of India Election Symbol

The U.S embassy in India had earlier offered to help train local law-enforcement authorities in Chattisgarh and to remove thousands of land mines planted by Naxals in the area. Reports stated that America's offer had been "welcomed" by the Bharatiya Janata Party-led government in the state. This is the first time another nation has offered to help India tackle Naxalism in the latter country.

The Communist Party of India's Politburo reacted sharply to the offer, and condemned the Chattisgrah government for allowing foreign interference in India's affairs without the prior consent of the Centre. The CPI also asked the Central Government to clarify to the U.S Embassy that Washington's involvement in India's internal affairs was not welcome. CPI leaders A. B Bardhan and Shamim Faizi said such meddling was not new for the US, and recalled US Ambassador David Mulford's letter to West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee criticising the latter's remarks against the American interference in India's internal matters. The CPI had recently criticised the Centre for voting against Iran at the IAEA.

Chattisgarh is one of at least 13 Indian states combating Naxals and Maoists who claim they are fighting for the rights of the impoverished peasants in the region. Thousands have died over three decades of violence, and the last 17 months have seen a rise in the number of attacks. The Indian Army released a report earlier this year that showed that by 2010, 30% of India's land area could become part of the "Red-Corridor", which currently stretches from the Indo-Nepal border all the way down to the Southern State of Andhra Pradesh. Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh stated last month that Naxals were a big threat to India's internal security.