The Courageous leader Comrade Kuppu Devraj - Maoist Central Committee
CPI Maoist Party Spokesperson Abhayʹs statement full text follows.
Red Salutes to the beloved son of the proletariat class, the courageous leader of the oppressed masses of our country, Comrade Kuppu DevarajCommunist Party of India (Maoist) pays humble homage to its member of the Central Committee Comrade Kuppu Devaraj (Ramesh/Yogesh/Rayanna) and a senior activist Comrade Ajitha. Comrade Devaraj served the revolutionary movement for almost forty years and was killed in a fake encounter along with another senior activist Comrade Ajitha on 24th December 2016. We send late but deep Condolences to the families of our beloved Comrades Devaraj and Ajitha. Comrade Devraj was 62 and Comrade Ajitha 52. We call upon all the masses, democrats, patriots and citizens of the country to condemn the brutal killing and fight against such atrocities. The presentfake encounter was conducted by the present Brahmanic Hindutva fascist Modi government and the social fascist CPM government of Kerala.
This is how the revolutionary journey of our beloved Comrade Devaraj started and went on. Inspired with the Naxalbari Armed Peasant struggle in the 1960s peasantry and intellectuals from the state of Karnataka started working among the masses. One such person was Koganuru Gonappa of Sirahatti village in Karnataka. He started arousing the poor peasants with the politics of Naxalbari struggle. He was killed by the goondas of the landlords.
Later there was a gap often years. Then the CPI(ML) (Peopleʹs War) party was formed. Revolutionary activists and individuals across the country started coming together. Thus Comrade Devaraj too came into contact with the party in 1980. Consequently part time activists developed in Karnataka and they were consolidated into party cells. Yogesh was an active member in one of the cells. He along with the others started political and organization work in workers, students and youth. In fact even before the party came into contact with him, he was working among workers with revolutionary politics like some others.
Comrade Devaraj was a worker in a factory. He belongs to the urban poor and the oppressed dalit class. His forefathers shifted to Bangalore from Tamilnadu. He had a family with wife, children, brothers and sisters. After he turned an activist, his house became a centre for party activities.
In between 1980-85 the party cells became active. Devaraj soon became a PR in the leadership of Cherukuri Rajkumar (Azad). Comrade Azad was sent by the party to organise in the state of Karnataka. By 85, eight activists became Professional Revolutionaries out of whom Devaraj was the leading person. The PRs worked in the cities of Bangalore, Kolar and Mysore among workers, students and youth. They also took up struggles in students, youth and workers. A cultural front too was formed.
The cultural front, party and activists of mass organizations propagated about PPW, about the movements in AP, Bihar and other such places. They took up political propaganda widely. In this process by 85 a leading team with ideological and political unity was formed in the leadership of Azad. Devarajwas the key person in this team.
In 85 during the crisis in Central Committee(CC), this leading team of Karnataka played an active role against the opportunist, disruptionist clique in the CC. Under the leadership of comrade Azad, comrades Devaraj and Saketh Rajan played a crucial role in this internal struggle. Though the comrades did not have much experience in class struggle, they studied the theory of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism and party basic documents, revolutionary history of our Country and the world and were ideologically and politically sound. They firmly adhered to the Party line of PPW and helped to keep the Party continue with the politics of Armed struggle. Their study and the theoretical struggle they waged upon the clique formed a theoretical base for the future party organisation in the state. It also helped the team to later develop into the state committee. The team also helped the AP Committee during the time of repression. With the help of this team the AP Committee could successfully perform certain important tasks and thus developed good relations between these two movements and served mutually.
In the First State Conference in 1987 Comrade Azad was elected as State Committee secretary (SCS). Saketh Rajan and Kuppu Devaraj were members of the committee. This conference adopted a perspective for agrarian revolution. It considered the uneven social, economic and political situation in the state and decided to start the movement in the northern plains of Karnataka flanking Andhra Pradesh. Devaraj took the responsibility to lead the rural movement as a State Committee Member. He understood that the movement would advance only in the direct leadership. In this area a landlord was punished and his and seized. The struggle went on for about two years. Students too were quite active in this area.
They worked among the peasantry in Bidar and Raichur districts. They mobilised the peasantry, started the peasant organisation and took up anti feudal, anti state struggles. At the same time the struggle against the Kaiga nuclear plant came up. They extended into the field of students and formed student organisations in the districts of Bidar, Raichur, Chitradurga, Shimoga and Dharwad. The struggle in Kaiga and the work among the students all put together made the party known across the state.
Due to the crisis in CC between 1985-87 it came to a standstill for quite sometime. There was no centre for coordinating the movements in the states and to guide them. During this period, Azad and comrade Yogesh together worked to maintain the cadre intact. Comrade Devaraj played a very important role in maintaining the cadre in Tamilnadu also.
In 1990 the party conducted the Second State Conference. In this Conference they reviewed the struggles. The conference felt that there were a few shortcomings in the anti feudal struggle, mainly regarding the militancy. They took lessons from this experience and decided to consolidate the party and provide direct leadership in order to take the movement forward. The Party also conducted a State Plenum in 1993 to rectify the alien class tendencies. In this plenum, the Party took up the task to develop the party to take forward the movement to address the peopleʹs problems.
Nationality question arose in Karnataka. Party realised the necessity to take up the issue of the Kannadigas and formed an organisation to address the same.
There was a second crisis in the Party in the All India level in 1991. In this crisis the KN State committee wrote a document exposing the wrong tendencies of the minority group. They called upon all the cadresto fight against the opportunistic clique in 92. It gave this call with the objective that all the cadres in the Party must understand the disruptionist clique and fight ideologically.
Before the All India Special Conference of the party in 1995, there was a state conference in which Devaraj took up the responsibility of Secretary of the State Committee. In the Conference he became an alternate member of the CC and a full time member of the CC in ʹ97. Since the same period there was an internal struggle in the party in Karnataka that slowed down the advancement of the movement.
In 2001 the erstwhile Peopleʹs War held the Ninth Congress and Comrade Devaraj was once more elected into the CC. The CC also formed the South West Regional Bureau (SWRB) and Comrade Devraj was a member of the Bureau. At this time the State Committee proposed to the CCto shift the perspective area. The CC approved the proposal and worked outa thorough plan. The Committee studied the Socio Economical and Political conditions of the perspective area. Together with Comrade Saketh Rajan, Comrade Kuppu Devaraj had a key role in starting the movement in the perspective area in the beginning of 21 century.
As soon as workstarted in the perspective area, opportunists started throwingstones on itsaying that it would not work. They were also against the merger of the two parties and the formation of Maoist Party. In such a situation, Comrade Saketh Rajan was martyred fighting with the enemy in a heroic way. After his martyrdom Comrade Devaraj continued the fight against the right opportunist clique, with the help of the SWRB. Majority comrades stood with the Party line. Finally the crisis was solved in the State Conference in 2006. The opportunistic clique left the Party.
A document was released to counter the opportunists in the name of ʹOpportunists never understand revolutionary dialecticsʹ. Yogesh was the main person behind the document. Meanwhile Armed Guerillasquads were started in Madurai and neighboring districts of Tamilnadu. Yogesh took the main responsibility in preparing the perspective and the cadre forthe armed struggle.
In 2004 Maoist party was formed. Yogesh as a CCM contributed to the formation of the new party. He subsequently became a member of the South West Regional Bureau. He participated in the Unity Congress and contributed ideologically and politically.
In 2007 the Party held the Unity Congress-Ninth Congress. The Congress elected Comrade Devarajinto the CC and thus he was a member of the SWRB. By the end of this year and the later year, other comrades of the RB were arrested and martyred. Comrade Devarajtook the responsibility of the three states of Tamilnadu, Karnataka and Kerala. In this difficult situation he was firm and helped the cadre sustain in the revolutionary movement.
In 2011 the Party in the south-west region decided to workby concentrationg most of our subjective forces in Trijunction area, the forest area constituting the states of Kerala, Karnataka and Tamilnadu. Comrade Devaraj was always eagre to open a war frontin this part of the country. He was constantly studying the conditions of the various parts of the three states. Thus he played a crucial role instarting the movement in the area of Trijunction. He once more led the cadre to extend to Trijunction. In no time the Party became popular among the traditional tribal populations in the area. The Party led the PLGA to successfully conduct Politico Military Campaign. The squads went much more deep into the masses. The governments of the three states became alert. The present movement in the Trijunction is a heavy blow to revisionism, especially in Kerala. The party showed them the rightpath, in which Devarajmade a dynamic contribution.
When the SWRB took up Leadership Training Program (LTP), Comrade Devarajtook the responsibility and conducted training camps. The training involved cadresstarting from the State rank. In this program the cadres were thoroughly educated and could develop a clearperspective about the various issues of the movement. Thus he helped for the political strength of the Party cadres.
Comrade Devaraj was also dynamic in uniting with other revolutionary communists. He took the responsibility on behalf of the CC to conduct talks with the Naxalbarigroup that later led to the merger of the group. Earlier he conducted talks with the Janasakthi group and succeeded in bringing some of the comrades into the rightpath. Comrade Devarajtookkeen interestin running magazines of the Party and the mass organisations. He was also serious about documenting the necessary developments that helped the concerned committees.
There is one more important thing about Devaraj. He had an important role in supplying Arms and Ammunition for the ongoing peopleʹs war. He also had a role in conducting grenade manufacturing.
Western Ghats have the potential to hand over a new experience to the Revolutionary Movement in the country. So the Central and the state governments conspired, caught Devarajand anothersenior activist of the Party Comrade Ajitha and killed them in a fake encounter.
The loss of Comrade Devaraj in the fake encounter is a heavy loss to the Party that started to consolidate the masses in the area of Trijunction. The people of Kerala never forget Verghese, martyred fifty years back and his sacrifice for the people. People wish to continue the movement as per his ideals. So as soon as the party approached them, they became actively involved. Now they would never forget Devaraj.
Comrade Devaraj belonged to an oppressed class, the oppressed dalit community. He was fluent in English, Malayali, Tamil, Kannada and Telugu and the local Adivasi language. The Indian Revolution lost a promising leader. He took up bitter internal struggle ideologically and theoretically. He was steeled in this struggle. He led the movement with little subjective forces and relatively less experience with great courage and strong will. He mingled with one and all and developed a democratic atmosphere among the cadres and the masses and gained their confidence. He thus stands forever in the minds of them.
He was a selfless personality. He took up whatever the Committee decided as his task. Devaraj would be remembered in the Indian Revolution, mainly in the Western Ghats and also in AP, Telangana and Dandakaranyam. His ideals would live forever. His commitment, hard work, sacrifice would certainly take the party forward. Comrade Devarajʹs unwavering commitment towards the goal would serve to overcome the present losses forthe future cadre. One can learn from him how to swim against the tide.
The work style, the will, the dedication, the courage of Comrade Devarajare exemplary to all the cadres of the Party. The CC calls upon the cadres to imbibe these ideals of the martyr. The Committee especially calls upon the cadres of the three states to take up his task with his great spirit and continue to work like him. With the path he laid, one could become a good Communist worker. This would be the actual homage to the great martyr. We once again express ourgrief and extend condolences to his cadres and his family.
With the help of Comrades he rose high the red flag in the Western Ghats. However much the repression and loss, the movement would advance to eliminate the exploitative ruling classes and bring Peopleʹs state power and establish a new democratic state and advance to Socialism and then to Communism.
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