Tuesday, July 12, 2011

ML Update 26 / 2011

ML Update

A CPI(ML) Weekly News Magazine

Vol. 14, No. 26, 21 – 27 JUNE 2011

Nationwide Call to Protest on 26 June, Anniversary of the Emergency

Combat Corruption, Resist Repression!

Save Democracy, Save India!

On 26 June 1975 the then Congress government imposed the infamous Emergency, suspending all civil liberties, muzzling voices of dissent, jailing opponents and attempting to throttle democracy. This June, 36 years since that black day, we can experience all the symptoms of an undeclared Emergency.

Once again, democratic protests are being outlawed. Spaces of protest are being declared out of bounds. Peaceful protestors are brutally assaulted and evicted, even in the national capital. People's movements against corporate plunder and land grab are facing intensified repression. Workers' strikes are declared illegal and their basic democratic right to form unions of their choice is met with victimization and repression. Voices of conscience who challenge state repression and corporate loot are branded 'seditious' and jailed. Mass movements against corruption are branded as a threat to democracy in order to justify repression.

Almost every month, there are fresh revelations of huge scams involving a nexus between ruling UPA Ministers and private corporations. The oil scam revealed by the CAG is the latest. The Government, in the dock for unprecedented corruption, black money, plunder of the country's natural resources and drain of the public exchequer, is seeking to silence public anger by intimidating people's protest. Following the brutal police assault on sleeping protestors are Ramlila Grounds in Delhi, UPA Minister Kapil Sibal declared, "Let this be a lesson to everybody." In this declaration we can hear the footfalls of Emergency. This is the UPA's open threat to all forces of struggle against corruption, all those who cherish and defend democracy.

At the same time, the ruling class 'opposition' cannot offer any credible resistance to either corruption or repression. BJP-ruled states such as Karnataka, Gujarat, Chhattisgarh and Uttarakhand are notorious for some of the worst instances of corporate plunder of natural resources, and for severe repression on people's resistance and crackdown on democratic rights. Be it Forbesganj in NDA-ruled Bihar, Bhatta Parsaul in BSP-ruled Uttar Pradesh, Jagatsinghpur in BJD-ruled Odisha or Jaitapur in Congress-ruled Maharashtra, people's movements against corporate land grab and forced eviction are being met with the same naked police brutality and bullets.

While the Congress-UPA Government has declared war on democracy, the ruling class opposition's complete bankruptcy on the question of combating corruption and repression has been exposed. It is up to the people of the country to build and sustain the movement against the all-pervasive rot of corruption and the all-out assault on our freedom and democracy.

On 26 June this year, remembering the Emergency and people's resistance to it, let us pledge to throw off the yoke of repression and demand democracy.

Let us demand that the draconian laws like Sedition, AFSPA, MCOCA, CSPSA and UAPA, which should have no place in an independent and democratic India, be scrapped!

Let us declare our defiance to all attempts to muzzle the voices of protest! Let us resist and defy each and every attempt to ban popular protests and place the spaces of protest out of bounds!

Let the rulers know that people's aspirations for liberty, for democracy, for rights, cannot be silenced by batons or bullets!

Farbisganj Murders: Movement Intensifies in Bihar against the Killings

Intensifying the State-wide agitation in Bihar demanding punishment to the killers of four innocent villagers (from minority community) of Bhajanpur in Forbesganj the CPI(ML) held militant protest dharnas in Patna and all district headquarters of the State on 15 June 2011. Through these protest programmes the Party has demanded that all accused involved in the heinous firing including BJP's councillor Ashok Agrawal, Araria's District Magistrate, Superintendent of Police and all police men involved in the murders be charged under section 302, arrested immediately and put behind bars.

Agrarian labourers, farmers, students-youth and women participated in huge numbers at all the programmes that began with the slogan "Stop the Drama of Judicial Enquiry, File Murder Charge against those Involved in Forbesganj Police Firing". Senior Party leaders addressed the dharnas in different towns and cities.

Addressing the maha-dharna (grand sit-in protest) at Shaheed Bhagat Singh crossing near Gandhi Maidan in Patna, Comrade Saroj Chaubey (Central Committee member, CPIML and AIPWA's National Vice President) said that two incidents of brutal murders by police in Araria in just six months has unmasked the blatantly anti-women and communal character of the present Government. She also mentioned that lives and dignity of Dalit-Muslim women in JD(U)-BJP rule is completely insecure. Comrade KD Yadav (Party CCM) exposed Govt's cunning and non-serious attitude in declaring judicial enquiry as it has not taken any action whatsoever against the perpetrators. Even basic relief has not been extended to the victims, rather false cases has been slapped on hundreds of common villagers. He fully justified the demands of the villagers. Dozens of other senior Party leaders were also present at the maha-dharna in Patna. The speakers lambasted the Nitish Govt. for its ever increasing bureaucratic, undemocratic and anti-people character completely contrary to its pretensions of good-governance. In present Govt. the moneybags and power-brokers are having a field day. The speakers also exposed the involvement of Dy. CM Sushil Modi and BJP MLA Anandi Singh apart from BJP councillor Ashok Agrawal in the whole incident. Party leaders claimed that the BJP is successfully implementing its communal agenda using the Nitish Kumar's Govt.

Post-dharna, a CPI(ML) delegation comprising comrades Murtaza Ali, Nageswar Paswan, Gurudev Das, Lalan Singh and Ramnarayan Singh handed over a 6-point demand letter to the Bihar CM at the DM's office. The memorandum demands compensation for peasants' acquired land at current market rate and restoration of the road connecting Bhajanpura and Sheetalpura, apart from the above mentioned demands of the maha-dharna.

Hundreds of CPI(ML) activists and members led by comrades Ashok Singh (Arrah Dist. Committee member), and others sat on dharna in front of the DM's office. A massive dharna was organised at Sasaram led by CPI(ML) State Committee member (SCM) Comrade Arun Singh (also ex-MLA). Dharna in front of DM's office at Jahanabad was addressed by CPI(ML) Politburo member Comrade Ram Jatan Sharma. Despite heavy rains at Arwal, hundreds of marchers took out a protest march demanding punishment to the culprits of firing. Hundreds of people participated in dharna opposite DM's office at Biharsharif. The dharna was led by CPI(ML) SCM Com. Surendra Ram and Mitranand Singh among others. At Gaya too the dharna spot was DM's office where hundreds of people protested led by District Secretary Com. Niranjan Kumar and AIPWA leader Reeta Barnawal among others. A huge dharna was organised at DM's office in Siwan which was addressed by SCMs and ex-MLAs comrades Amarnath Yadav and Satyadev Ram, Naimuddin Ansari and Amarjeet Kushwaha among others. The leaders here alleged that Nitish Kumar has becom a puppet in the hands of rioting BJP. At Bettiah a protest march was held led by Party leader Birendra Gupta. Despite incessant rains at Bhagalpur the Party held the dharna.

Dharnas were also held at DM's offices in Muzaffarpur, Darbhanga, Samastipur, Araria, Nawada, Begusarai, Gopalganj, Chhapra, Bhabhua and other places demanding speedy justice to the victims and urging the agrarian labourers, students-youth and common people to intensify the agitation for punishment to the perpetrators of firing at Forbesganj.

Dalits and Adivasis in Gujarat Gravely Attacked by BJP

An attack on a mass scale was conducted by the MLA Raman Patkar from Umargaam constituency in Valsad district on the villagers of Ghoriparha and Gadikparha villages on 13 June 2011. Around 150-200 goons and BJP members, wielding various arms, led by the MLA attacked these villagers, mainly Dalits and Adivasis. This resulted in serious injuries to several people who are now undergoing treatment. These incidents have already been reported to the District Magistrate and SSP repeatedly but no action has been taken so far by them, instead the complainants are being harassed by the administrative officials too. CPI(ML) Central Committee has given  a memorandum to the Union Home Minister in Delhi apprising him of the dangerous situation.

A day before this incident, on 12 June 2011, MLA Raman Patkar and his four sons along with his accomplices conducted another attack on CPI(ML) Liberation leader Kapila Ben. She is also continuing to undergo treatment even now. She was the CPI(ML) candidate in last elections.

These are deliberate and organized political attacks by the leaders of ruling BJP in Gujarat on CPI(ML) activists in order to crush the political opposition and struggles being led by the CPI(ML) in that district. The attacks are particularly targeted against the CPI(ML) activists who contested elections at various levels including Parliament, Assembly, Zila Panchayat and Village Panchayats.

During last elections BJP MLA Raman Patkar and his men regularly harassed and attacked CPI(ML) members and destroyed party posters, banners, and other election materials. These incidents were duly reported to the police and election officials and judicial process is still going on for these crimes. These incidents provide the background for current spree of attacks and intimidation. The ruling party there is trying to muzzle the voices of political dissent by force and bloodshed.

When CPI(ML)'s Valsad district committee Secretary Laxman Vadia approached the Valsad DSP, Collector and Umargaam police station for help and to seek justice, he was not heard and arrogantly dismissed. Instead he found that a false counter case was filed by the attackers against CPI(ML) activists. The police inspector at Umargaam police station even told the CPI(ML) leaders that "There is BJP rule in Umargaam, and if you people will persist with the red-flag party here, I myself will have to shoot you!"

Now even Valsad's Party District Secretary Shri Laxmanbhai Vadia is receiving threats to his life by the local MLA and his men, while the attackers are still roaming free, wielding arms. In order to save his life, Comrade Laxmanbhai Vadia had to flee from his house and remain in hiding.

Memoranda regarding these incidents have been sent to Gujarat's Governor, Chief Justice of Gujarat High Court, DG Police, Gujarat and many other officials. So far, nothing has been done in this regard and the attackers are still intimidating and threatening people and supporters of CPI(ML) in Umargaam region.

UP Police Beat to Death Sambhu Kushwaha

Militant Protests Held to Demand Justice

A Spate of Rapes, Murder and Physical Assault in Just 3 Days

55 year old Sambhu Kushwaha, a peasant by occupation, hailing from Phulli village under Dildar Nagar PS of Gazipur district, was brutally beaten to death in police custody at Dildar Nagar police station on the night of 6-7 June 2011. Enraged at the police barbarism the CPI(ML) Gazipur unit held an angry dharna at the Kotwali police station on 7 June.

Sambhu Kushwaha and his son Bijendra Kushwaha had a minor scuffle with their neighbour on 6 June for which the local police detained and took them to the thana (PS) same day. At night the SO (thana chief) along with remaining police personnel thrashed-up the father and son in a murderous way. Sambhu Kushwaha succumbed to the assault. When the police took him to hospital doctors refused to admit him as he was brought dead.

Party's district committee which was holding its meeting when it got the news, rushed to the place where post-mortem examination was being done. The local BSP leader was trying to shield the thana chief when the Party leaders tried to lodge an FIR on the report of deceased's son Bijendra. At 4 p.m. a dharna was started at the thana gate led by Comrades Ram Pravesh Kushwaha and Rajendra Vanvasi and the administration was warned that the dharna will continue until cases are filed against the SO and police personnel and that only upon the receipt of a copy of the FIR the body will be cremated.

Public pressure kept on increasing and finally late in the night FIR was filed against the thana chief and other policemen of DIldar Nagar Thana. They were charged under Sec.302 and 504. After that the Party leader and AIKM's State Convenor Comrade Ishwari Prasad Kushwaha addressed the agitating masses. The Party demanded immediate arrest of the accused, CBI enquiry of the whole incident and a compensation of rupees ten lakh to the family members of the deceased Sambhu Kushwaha.

The dharna was withdrawn only when the district administration suspended all the accused and instituted a magisterial inquiry. The Party declared that the struggle will go on till full justice is done.

It must be noted that sometime back this very accused thana chief (SO) had physically assaulted complainants at Jakhania in the presence of senior officials on the occasion of janta diwas (people's day) and slapped several fictitious criminal cases against four leaders of Bhadaura who raised questions regarding poor people. So far he has been able to save himself despite all his crime due to the patronage received from the BSP leaders. CPI(ML) warned that if the suspended SO and other policemen are not immediately arrested the agitation will be intensified.

In a statement issued at Lucknow on 7 June, the Party's State Committee said that the Mayawati Govt has failed to rein in the uniformed criminals as one after another ghastly and extremely horrifying crimes are perpetrated by the UP police. Several Peasants have been killed recently to forcibly acquire their land and a spate of rapes - 11 within a period of 3 days - and killings of women and children has shocked the entire nation. Many of them gang rapes involving dalit women and minor girls. In one terrible incident, a minor girl's eye was stabbed - but police refused to register an FIR against those who raped and stabbed her! Mayawati's UP is becoming more and more dangerous for women every day, with Ministers, MLAs and police all neck-deep in crimes against women, thereby emboldening other offenders too.

On 26 June – anti-Emergency Day – the Party will organise forceful protest in Dildar Nagar to press for punishment to the criminals.

Nighasan Update: Hunger strike, that started on 15th June was lifted on 17th night after 3 days. Comrade Meena Tiwari (General Secretary of AIPWA) visited Nighasan who was assured by the administration that it will take necessary action as demanded by us and owing to this assurance from the administration she requested the fasting comrades Krishna Adhikari and Kranti to break their fast. The fast ended with the declaration that if a CBI enquiry is not instituted (to probe Sonam's rape and murder) the CPI(ML) will call for Lakhimpur bandh on 25 June. (Lucknow Bench of Allahabad High Court is hearing a PIL for CBI enquiry into Sonam's case)

Cases of sexual assault against dalit women have recently come to light from Ambedkar Nagar, Sultanpur, Deoria etc. Apart from this gang rapes of women and minors along with murder and assault on the victims of these rapes have been reported in last three days from Lakhimpur, Muradabad, Barabanki, Sultanpur, Lalitpur, Kannauj, Etah, Gorakhpur, Gonda, Basti, Sitapur, Firozabad, Kanpur, Fatehpur, Farrukhabad and Aligarh among some other places. This is enough to expose the reality of law and security of women in Uttar Pradesh, but the Mayawati Govt is so shameless that it is patting its own back and praising itself on the question of law and order in the State.

Mayawati Govt is fully responsible for this grave escalation in crime and criminal cases as many involved in crime were gifted ministerial and legislature posts. Without public pressure no report is filed and the police is becoming notorious for protecting the rapists. The CPI(ML) said that such a careless and ineffective Govt has no right to remain in power and it must resign.

TN Uniform Syllabus

Tamilnadu resembles a battle ground where parents are on the streets, raising slogans, picketing schools, and gheraoing state education offices. Last academic year too witnessed similar situation and now after change in government nothing much has changed for parents. Last year the protests centred around excessive charges by private schools violating the Govindarajan Committee's fee structure, this year the demand is scrapping of Ravirajapandian committee's fee structure. Allegedly,  the private schools are collecting fees three times higher than even the Ravirajapandian committee's fee structure which is already 5% to 15% more than the Govindarajan Committee. Last year the fees details were at least available in the public domain. This year though, it has been sent only to the school managements and the parents are left in the dark on the new fee structure. Even after repeated demands from various quarters to make the new fee structure public, Jayalalitha Govt is yet to make it public.

AISA organised a demonstration on 16 June before the office of state education office in Chennai and demanded withdrawal of the new fee structure. On 19 June, AISA organised a fasting protest in Coimbatore in which over 300 participated. Both these protest programs received wide coverage in the state.

Jharkhand Rally

A massive 'majdoor ekta rally' was organized at Ramgarh on 10th June, jointly by the district units of AICCTU Ramgarh and Hazaribagh. Nearly three thousand organized and unorganized workers, about half of them women, from coal mines and rural areas participated in the rally. The workers first assembled at 'rescue bhawan' and then marched with banners and flags to the local Dist. Administration Office braving heavy rains and storm. The gathering at the DC office was addressed by Comrades Dipankar Bhattacharya (CPIML General Secretary), Swapan Mukherjee (AICCTU National GS), Vinod Singh (Party's leader and MLA from Bagodar constituency), Subhendu Sen (AICCTU State Secretary), Deodeep Singh Diwakar (Party's leader among steel workers, Bokaro), Upendra Singh (Coal workers' leader) apart from others. The speakers highlighted the plight of working class of the mineral rich area, especially those engaged in unorganized sector through contractors, who were not paid bare minimum wages to maintain a dignified living.

Com. Dipankar said that the govt. at the state and centre has thrown away its mask of democracy to aid the corporate houses in looting mineral wealth, spectrum and land of our country. He said that our country has reached a historical juncture when the struggles of peasants, workers and student-youth are uniting together over a common agenda against the rampant loot of the country's resources by the corporate houses. As this takes a mass political dimension in the days to come, the revolutionary trade union movement should consciously step forward to lead the working class into this struggle. He also said that the discredited UPA Govt. has no moral right to remain in power after the large scale scams involving its ministers have came to limelight. He called upon the masses to observe June 25th and 26th as anti-emergency protest days and expose the UPA Govt.'s plan to re-enact a similar situation in the country for curbing the rising voices against corruption. Com. Swapan Mukherjee called upon the workers to work hard in the campaign for the 8th National Conference of AICCTU to be held in Bhillai, Chattisgarh, in November this year.

Rajasthan: CPI(ML)'s Udaipur District Conference was held on 24-25 May at Sindhi Dharmashala in Udaipur. Open session of the Conference discussed "Challenges before the Left Movement and our Task". Comrade Srilata Swaminathan, CPI(ML) CCM and AIPWA President was the main speaker. Party's State Secretary Comrade Mahendra Chaudhary also addressed the Conference. Comrade Chandradeo Ola was re-elected District Secretary. Conference elected a 17-member executive.

Long Live Veteran Comrade Lal Singh Kushwaha!

Senior-most veteran communist leader of the Chambal region, Comrade Lal Singh Kushwaha, passed away at the age of 104 on 14 June 2011. He breathed his last in Gingrikh village of Mehgaon district.

He was one of the founders of the communist movement in the Gwalior zone (Bhind, Muraina, Gwalior). On 18 December 2009 at the age of 102, he was felicitated at the inauguration of the Bhind party office.

He had been active throughout the freedom struggle, defying the colonial regime's ban on political activity by organizing many mass meetings and other political actions. He was also active in resisting the feudal royalty (the Scindia estate) which used to support the British.

After the division of the CPI in 1964, he joined the newly-formed CPI(M). The Naxalbari uprising disillusioned him with the CPI(M), and he helped build the CPI(ML) led by Charu Mazumdar. When the party was underground he organized peasantry and took up the challenge of party building among them.

Later, he remained active in the IPF too. Remarkably, he even campaigned for the party candidate from Gwalior throughout the campaign period in the last Assembly elections in MP, in spite of his advanced age and his ailing health.

Hearing of his demise, common people and communist activists thronged to bid him a last farewell. CPI(ML) Control Commission member Comrade Devendra Singh Chauhan and Bhind Zila Committee Secretary Comrade Suraj Rekha Tripathi placed the red flag on his body, amidst slogans befitting a revolutionary's last journey. On 25 June, a memorial meet will be held at Bhind in his memory.

Red Salute to the departed Comrade, who lived the longest life full of revolutionary spirit!


Edited, published and printed by S. Bhattacharya for CPI(ML) Liberation from U-90, Shakarpur, Delhi-92; printed at Bol Publication, R-18/2, Ramesh Park, Laxmi Nagar, Delhi-92; Phone:22521067; fax: 22442790, e-mail: mlupdate@cpiml.org, website: www.cpiml.org

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