Thursday, May 24, 2012

ML Update 22 / 2012

ML Update

A CPI(ML) Weekly News Magazine

Vol. 15, No. 22, 22 – 28 MAY 2012

Bihar's Struggle for Justice, Dignity, Democracy

Nitish Kumar was lionised by the corporate media as the man who was bringing Bihar to the 21st century. The bad old days of crime and caste massacres were past, we were told, and Nitish's ads and hoardings announce that Bihar is witnessing "waves of revolutionary change." But unfolding events are turning Nitish Kumar's slogan of 'development with justice' on its head, and the CM's gospel of 'good governance' is giving way to unfettered police raj.

A full year has passed since the Forbesganj firing on June 3rd 2011, which had exposed the communal hatred and brutality nurtured by the Bihar police against poor minorities of Bhajanpura village in Forbesganj who dared resist the encroachment of their traditional road by a BJP MLC. The judicial probe ordered as a face-saving measure by the Bihar Government has been a non-starter. No enquiry report has come out fixing responsibility for the police killings and atrocities.

While the killers in uniform at Forbesganj go unscathed, the police at Aurangabad have shown their loyalty to diktats from the rulers at Patna, launching an all-out assault on people protesting a political assassination, and singling out former CPI(ML) MLA Comrade Rajaram Singh for an especially vicious beating.

Contrary to Nitish Kumar's claim of crime-free Bihar, there is a renewed spurt in major crimes and especially political killings. Three recent killings have caused tremendous public outrage – that of Surendra Yadav, Dalsinghsarai block secretary of the CPI(M) in Samastipur district, Bhaiyyaram Yadav, CPI(ML)'s Rohtas district secretary and Devendra Singh alias Chhotu Kushwaha, the popular mukhiya of Sonhathu panchayat of Haspura block in Aurangabad district – all of which seem to have been perpetrated at the behest of local JD(U)/BJP MLAs.

It is also no coincidence that Nitish's Bihar stands witness to some of the most shocking and shameful instances of judicial injustice. The Bathani Tola verdict acquitting all the accused for a heinous massacre was perhaps inevitable in a Bihar where the Government does not oppose bail for the massacre mastermind, Ranveer Sena chief Brahmeshwar Singh; disbands the Amir Das Commission probing the political linkages of the Ranveer Sena; and dumps the recommendations of the Land Reforms Commission.

In Nitish's Bihar, the police's refusal to act against the BJP MLA whom Rupam Pathak accused of rape forces her to take desperate measures. But Rupam Pathak gets a life sentence – while her complaint of rape is yet to be investigated!

In the Amausi massacre case, 10 musahars including the popular leader Bodhan Sada have been given a death sentence on the most doubtful of evidence. Nothing can be more telling of skewed justice in Nitish's Bihar than the death sentence for Bodhan Sada, while Bramhmeswar Singh and his band of killers walk free.

The popular response to the Bihar Bandh called by the CPI(ML) on 10 May has clearly shown that the people of Bihar are fighting back. The CPI(ML)'s ongoing Nyaye Andolan (Movement for Justice) is gaining momentum, demanding unconditional release of Comrade Rajaram Singh and other jailed agitationists; action against the DM and SP of Aurangabad; CBI enquiry into the Forbesganj firing and the killings of Surendra Yadav, Bhaiyyaram Yadav and Chhotu Kushwaha; justice for Rupam Pathak and the Amausi convicts including Bodhan Sada; cancellation of Brahmeshwar Singh's bail and justice for the Bathani victims.

Real change in Bihar does not lie in the changing caste complexion of the rulers; nor in the changing political rhetoric of the rulers – whether Lalu Prasad's 'social justice' or Nitish Kumar's 'good governance'. Real change does not lie in the gloss of globalisation and corporatisation added to the semi-feudal political economy of Bihar resulting in spectacular statistical growth on paper. The people of Bihar are showing that justice, dignity and democracy are not class-neutral words, and are certainly not monopolies of the rich and the powerful. And that real change lies in the tenacity and courage and determination with which people fight back for their justice, their dignity and their democracy.

Left Parties' Convention in Bihar

Against Rising Injustice, Crime, and Repression

On 14th May, five Left parties – the CPI(ML), CPI, CPI(M), Forward Bloc, and SUCI(C) – held a joint Convention in Patna against the rising instances of injustice, crime and state repression.

The Convention was addressed by CPI(ML) Politburo member Comrade Ramji Rai; State Secretary Kunal; Central Committee member Comrade Rameshwar Prasad; CPI(M) State Secretary Comrade Vijaykant Thakur; State Secretariat member Arun Mishra; CPI State Secretary Comrade Badrinayaran Lal; State Secretariat members Jitendranath, Arjun Prasad Singh, Gaznafar Nawab; Comrade Vakeel Thakur from Forward Bloc and SUCI(C) State Secretary Comrade Arun Singh.

Apart from these Left leaders, intellectuals including Prof. Naval Kishore Choudhury, and Prof. Bharti S Kumar (Head of the History Department at Patna University), also addressed the Convention. Social activist Rupesh and Prof. Santosh Kumar also participated in the Convention.

The presidium comprised CPI(ML) CCM KD Yadav, CPI(M) State Secretariat member Sargandhar Paswan, Vijay Narayan Mishra of CPI, America Mahto of Forward Bloc and Shivlal Prasad of SUCI(C).

The feudal and communal character of the Nitish Government behind the corporatized media-managed facade stands exposed, the Left leaders felt, even as they planned for united Left initiatives and agitations. The Convention called for joint dharnas and demonstrations of all Left parties at district HQs on 15 June.

The political resolutions were placed by CPI(ML)'s Bihar State Committee member Abhyuday. CPI(M)'s Ajay Kumar Singh thanked the gathering for a successful Convention. CPI(ML)'s PB member Comrade Amar, CCMs Meena Tiwari and Saroj Chaubey, and other leaders including Santosh Sahar, Shashi Yadav, Satyanarayan Prasad, Sudhir Kumar and others were also present at the Convention.

Nyaye Yatra:

Demanding Justice

Highlighting the instances of gross injustice in Nitish's rule and calling the bluff of Nitish's slogan of 'Nyaye ke saath Vikas' (Justice with Development), the CPI(ML) held an intensive Nyaye Yatra (Journey for Justice) in Bihar.

In Shahabad, the Nyaye Yatra began by garlanding the memorial to the Bathani Tola martyrs. It was flagged off by CPI(ML)'s Standing Committee member and former MLA Comrade Arun Singh.

This contingent covered the Bhojpur-Rohtas-Bhabhua-Buxar districts, holding street-corner meetings, foot-marches and intensive mass contact, highlighting the injustice done to the Bathani Tola victims by the acquittal of Ranveer Sena killers and the bail for Brahmeshwar Singh, and the murder of Bhaiyyaram Yadav. This leg of the Yatra was led by State Committee member Sudama Prasad Singh, Rohtas Secretary Jawahar Singh, former MLA Chandradeep Singh, Comrade Qayamuddin and other leaders.

The Nyaye Yatra in the Magadh zone was led by Standing Committee member and Arwal District Secretary Mahanand, Aurangabad District Secretary Anwar Husain, Gaya District Secretary Niranjan Kumar, AIPWA leader Rita Barnwal, RYA leader Ravindra Yadav, AIALA leader Upendra Paswan and others. The Yatra began by paying homage at the memorial to the martyrs of Laxmanpur Bathe and was flagged off by PB member Comrade Ramjatan Sharma. This leg of the Yatra covered Kaler, Arwal, Kurtha, and Obra, Hasanpura, Pachrukhiya in Aurangabad and Gaya-Jehanabad, highlighting the Aurangabad police assault on protestors and arrest of 29 including Comrade Rajaram Singh.

The Nyaye Yatra in Siwan began by paying homage to Comrade Chandrashekhar, and was led by RYA State President Amarjit Kushwaha, Suman Singh Kushwaha, Sujeet Subhani and other youth leaders. Highlighting the fact that Shahabuddin is yet to be punished for Chandrashekhar's murder, the Yatra covered Siwan, Jagdishpur, Maharajganj, Husainganj, Aandar, Darauli, Guthni, Mairwa, Nautan and other places in Siwan, as well as Chhapra, Gopalganj, Champaran.

The Nyaye Yatra in Purnea began by paying homage to Comrade Ajit Sarkar's memorial and covered Rupaspur, Chandwa, Araria, Supaul and other districts, led by CCM Comrade Saroj Choubey, and Purnea District Secretary Pankaj Singh, and highlighting the issues of justice for Rupam Pathak, as well as the question of land reform and land grab.

In Patna the Nyaye Yatra covered Fatuha, Danyanva, Khusrupur, Nalanda, Masaurhi, Paliganj, Dulhinbazar, Vikram, Naubatpur, and Bihta. Leaders of this contingent included AIKM leaders Umesh Singh, Gopal Singh Gopi, and Vidyanand Bihari.

The various contingents of the Nyaye Yatra converged at Patna on 21 May and deposed their experiences at a Public Hearing (Jan Sunwai) at the capital, Patna.

Public Hearing for

Justice and Democracy

Several thousands of people, including working people, rural poor, intellectuals and writers participated in the Jan Sunwai (mentioned above) at Patna. Participants deposed on their experiences of struggles for justice in the Bathani Tola case, the Rupam Pathak case, Aurangabad police lathicharge, and several political killings.

Bathani massacre survivor Nayeemuddin Ansari deposed at the hearing, recounting his long quest for justice since 1996. He said that the Bihar HC verdict was a rude shock, and that he and other survivors would appeal the verdict in the Supreme Court, since if the judiciary is serious about justice, it cannot let a cold-blooded massacre of 21 innocents go unpunished.

AIKM leader Sudama Prasad noted that all accused had been acquitted not only in the Bathani Tola case but also in the Khagdi-Bigha and Jahir-Bigha massacre cases; and while Dharma Singh, the main accused in the Bathe massacre, had been sentenced to death, he continues to be a contractor protected by the BJP-JD(U). He spoke of the facts in the Amausi case, where 10 musahars including Bodhan Sada have been sentenced to death and 16 to life, without any credible evidence.

CPI(ML)'s Aurangabad district secretary Anwar Husain deposed at length about the facts indicating the involvement of Goh's JD(U) MLA in the murder of Chhotu Mukhiya, and in conspiring with the DM and SP for the police assault on protestors against the murder.

Naval Kishor of Araria deposed about the firing and brutality by police at Forbesganj, where no one has been punished though a year has passed.

AIPWA leader Saroj Choubey shared the experience of taking up Rupam Pathak's struggle for justice. She said Rupam has been denied a chance to defend herself, and her complaints of rape have been deliberately suppressed instead of seriously investigated.

The Jan Sunwai was addressed by CPI(ML) General Secretary Dipankar Bhattacharya. Among others who spoke at the Jan Sunwai were CPI(ML) leaders KD Yadav and Arun Singh, CPI leader Vijaynarayan Mishra, CPI(M) State Secretariat Member Sargandhar Paswan, Rupesh of Lok Parishad, America Mehto of Forward Bloc, SUCI(C)'s State Secretary Arun Kumar Singh and Ashok Priyadarshi of Lok Mukti Sangharsh Vahini, Sant Singh, national secretary of the Shoshit Samaj Dal. Other participants included Prem Kumar Mani of the Bihar Parivartan Morcha, Prof. Bharti S. Kumar and Prof. Santosh Kumar, short story writer Ravindra Bharati, educationist Ghalib and others. The 7-member jury comprising Prof MN Karn, Prof NK Chaudhury, Padma Shri recipient Sudha Verghese, Kishori Das (PUCL), Manikant Thakur (BBC), Advocate Yogesh Verma and CPI(ML) Politburo member Comrade Ramji Rai, heard the depositions and delivered a verdict indicting the Nitish Government and its administration for protecting political assassins, repressive police officers, and feudal killers. The jury opined that there was need for a CBI enquiry into the Forbesganj firing, Aurangabad incidents, the killings of Bhaiyyaram of Rohtas, Surendra Yadav of Samastipur, and Chhotu mukhiya of Aurangabad, release of Rupam Pathak and a CBI investigation of her complaints of rape. The jury held that the Bihar Government should challenge the bail order for Brahmeshwar Singh and appeal to the SC to correct the biases of police and prosecution in the Bathani Tola case. The jury held that assaults on democracy were on the rise in Bihar, and injustice was taking place in the name of 'justice'. The jury supported the ongoing struggle of people for real justice and democracy.

Protests against Hillary Visit

In Kolkata, AISA and RYA organized a protest demonstration on May 7th against Hillary Clinton's visit. A protest march was held at College Square, where AISA and RYA protested against FDI in retail sector, and against escalating intervention of US imperialism in our country's foreign and internal policies. An effigy of US imperialism was burnt at the end of the programme. On 6th May, CPI(ML) and AICCTU organized a protest march against Hillary's visit at Bakhrahat in South 24 Parganas. AISA and RYA also organized a protest march in Siliguri, where the effigy of US imperialism was burnt.

ACFTU Delegation visits AICCTU HQ

A 6-member delegation of All China Federation of Trade Unions (ACFTU) was in Delhi during the first week of May. They paid a visit to the AICCTU central office at Delhi on 4th May. It was a first such exchange by a Chinese trade union delegation with AICCTU.

The delegation, including a woman leader, was led by Mr. Duan Dunhou, Vice-President of the ACFTU and the Secretary of the Secretariat. The AICCTU delegation led by AICCTU National Secretary Rajiv Dimri comprised of AICCTU National Secretaries Kanwaljeet Singh and Santosh Roy, NCM, Ardhendu Roy and Ram Kishan, Secretary General of All India Health Employees and Workers' Confederation. The Chinese delegation was felicitated on their arrival in the office. The foreign delegation also presented AICCTU with gifts.

The meeting lasted for about two hours and discussed a variety of issues concerning trade union movements in India, China and world. The Chinese friends were keen to know the situation of workers in India and the functioning of AICCTU among them. They listened enthusiastically when Rajiv Dimri placed a brief account of areas of work and struggles led by AICCTU in various sectors, the issues being focused by it, and the united national campaigns of different central trade unions. They showed special interest in knowing the plight and struggles of the workers in the unorganized sectors.

During talks the Chinese delegation explained the role of Chinese trade unions and working class in building the Chinese economy and the exclusive rights and preferences the Chinese working class enjoys in all spheres of life. They further said that the credit for non-vulnerability of China to world crisis goes to the Chinese working masses, which are represented at all levels of decision and policy making. The law in China gives workers the right to form trade union including in MNCs and it is worth noting that the Chinese workers are the first in the world to form a union in the international retail chain giant Wal-Mart. They also said that consultation with trade unions is mandatory for foreign investors who invest in china. They laid emphasis on their efforts to organize migrant workers for improving their conditions.

The meeting ended with exchange of warm wishes for the struggles of working class in both the countries and with a promise of maintaining closer relation in the future from both sides.

Solidarity With Nepal's Mass Organisations

The 6th National Conference of the All Nepal Women's Association (ANWA) (affiliated to the CPN-UML) was held at Pokhara from 20-23 March. On ANWA's invitation, an AIPWA delegation comprising AIPWA General Secretary Meena Tiwari and National Executive Member Sarojini Bisht attended the Conference.

The Conference was inaugurated by a massive rally, which was addressed by representatives of several Indian women's organizations including AIPWA.

Addressing the mass meeting on behalf of AIPWA, Com. Meena said that the role of Nepal's women in the struggles for democracy is a source of inspiration for women all over South Asia. Congratulating Nepalese women on winning 33% reservation in representative assemblies as well as several pro-women laws, she said that women in India are still struggling for these rights. She shared the experiences of women in India fighting against entrenched biases in Government, police, and judiciary, especially the way in which the Bihar Government was influencing the process of justice to protect the perpetrators of feudal massacre at Bathani Tola and the rapists of Rupam Pathak. She called for greater solidarity among women's struggles all over South Asia. The rally was also addressed by NFIW leader Amarjit Kaur and AIDWA General Secretary Sudha Sundararaman, as well as women representatives of JD(U) and Samajwadi Party.

The 5th National Congress of Confederation of Nepalese Professionals (CONEP) was held at Kathmandu on May 1st, International Labour Day, and May 2nd. AICCTU Vice President SK Sharma attended and addressed the Congress, extending solidarity greetings with Nepal's working class movement.

RYA's Protest against Assault on Dalits

On 25 April, a Protest Meeting was held by Revolutionary Youth Association (RYA) against an incident of 14 March in which dalit people were assaulted and land allocated for them was grabbed. The assault was perpetrated by the gram pradhan of Ramgarh village in Gautam Buddha Nagar (Dadri, Uttar Pradesh) along with his supporters, and several dalit women and men were seriously injured in the incident. The attack was perpetrated as a punishment, after a dalit youth filed a complaint with the police against the illegal grab by the gram pradhan, of panchayat land allocated to dalits. The land was encircled with a 7-foot high wall. A series of initiatives seeking justice have been undertaken by the CPI(ML), including petitions and demonstrations at the SP and DM's offices. Yet the local police and administration have failed to arrest the assailants or demolish the illegal wall. To protest against this blatant bias, local youths organised the Protest Meeting under the banner of RYA, calling for a struggle to 'Defend Land, Demand Dignity'.

The protest meeting faced difficulties because the gram pradhan from the dominant caste pressurised local landowners to deny permission to use their land for the meeting. However, the local youths, organised under RYA, refused to admit defeat and managed to hold the meeting on public land. The site of the protest meeting was decorated with red flags, and there was a large turnout of dalit youths as well as women form Ramgarh as well as neighbouring villages.

The meeting was conducted by Brahm Jatav, RYA activist, whose decision to file an FIR against grab of panchayat land led to the attack on dalit homes in the village. Brahm Jatav recounted how he had also helped file an FIR when a local landowner beat up a dalit youth for refusing to lift the carcass of a buffalo calf on his shoulders.

Two issues were central to the meeting – the failure of police to arrest those responsible for the brutal assault, and the failure of district administration to demolish the 7-foot high illegal wall that encircles the dalit people's land.

Three ex-pradhans of Khap Kheda, Pali, and Ramgarh, affiliated to the BSP, came to speak at the meeting. Their refrain was that the meeting was trying to 'provoke' dalits in the village. They tried to play down the organised caste violence against dalits by terming it to be a 'quarrel within the family' that they offered to sort out. While one such BSP representative was speaking, a dalit youth in the audience got up to ask, "So we shouldn't even put up any protest or resistance when they grab our land and beat us up?" One youth, when he spoke, said that it was true that the SP Government was not acting against perpetrators of violence on dalits. But in Ramgarh's case, he asked, why had the Dadri MLA Satbir Gujjar and the Gautam Buddha Nagar MP Surendra Singh Nagar – both from the BSP – not intervened to ensure action against the assailants and against the grab of dalit land? Brahm Jatav's mother Shakuntala, herself badly injured, and Prakashi, who has a rod in her arm due to a severe injury, spoke of how women are daily being subjected to casteist and sexist abuse by the dominant castes.

The meeting was also addressed by the Pradhan of the neighbouring village of Bhogpur, Delhi State Secretary Sanjay Sharma, Delhi State Committee members Mathura Paswan and Aslam, Comrades Upadhyay, Shivji Singh and Chandrabhan Singh from CPI(ML)'s Noida city committee, and Kavita Krishnan, CC member of the CPI(ML).

Rajasthan: Construction Workers' Conference

First District Conference of Rajasthan Construction Workers' Unoin (affiliated to AICCTU) was held successfully at Salumber in Udaipur on 15 May. The Conference began with the hoisting of flag by veteran leader from Udaipur Comrade Gautam Lal Dhawda and remembering the martyrs of communist and working class movement. The Conference was inaugurated by Comrade Srilata, State President of the Union and AIPWA's National President. Due to an illness she made the inaugural address through an audio relay. Comrade Mahendra Chaudhary, CPI(ML) State Secretary, was the chief guest at the conference and other speaker was Comrade Chandra Deo Ola.

A 15 member District Committee was elected from the Conference.

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:, website:

Thursday, May 17, 2012

ML UPDATE 21 / 2012

ML Update

A CPI(ML) Weekly News Magazine

Vol.  15      No. 21                                        15 - 21 MAY 2012

SIT Closure Report on Gujarat

Shameful Cover-Up of Modi's Role

The closure report filed by the Supreme Court-appointed SIT on the 2002 communal violence in Gujarat has belied all expectations that it would help justice be done, by shamefully attempting to cover up the role of CM Narendra Modi. In its desperation to defend Modi from the complaint filed by Zakia Jafri, the SIT often contradicts its own preliminary report of 2010, and endorses some of Modi's worst communal statements.

The SIT goes out of its way to discredit intelligence officer Sanjiv Bhatt's evidence that he witnessed Modi at a meeting on February 27, 2002, instructing police officers to allow Hindus to vent their anger. In the SIT's preliminary report, several police officials claimed that they could not recall if Bhatt had been present at the meeting. But in the closure report, the memories of these same officers has magically improved, and they categorically state that Bhatt was not present!

Worse, the SIT closure report states that even if Bhatt's evidence were assumed to be true, "mere statement of alleged words in the four walls of a room does not constitute an offence." Which means that according to the SIT, even if a Chief Minister instructs police officers in a closed door meeting not to act against Hindu perpetrators of violence, it would not amount to a crime!     
In 2002, Narendra Modi had infamously justified the communal violence with talk of 'action-reaction.' The SIT closure report approvingly quotes Modi's 'action-reaction' logic, claiming that by firing at the mob, Ehsan Jafri 'provoked' it to massacre those sheltering in the Gulberg Society. The fact that Jafri fired on a mob armed with weapons, firearms, petrol and incendiaries, after waiting in vain for police to respond to his desperate calls, has been blithely discounted, and Jafri's action branded as one of provocation rather than self-defence.  
The SIT closure report does not even make much effort to appear credible. For instance, in order to back up its claim that Modi was unbiased and committed to cracking down on communal violence, it cites five public statements by Modi where he promised 'exemplary punishment' for those guilty for the attack on the train at Godhra. The complaint by Zakia Jafri says that Modi passed an order that ensured that police did not punish post-Godhra rioters. The SIT's answer is to show that the Modi wanted exemplary punishment for the Godhra train attack! It does not cite a word by Modi promising punishment for the perpetrators of violence against Muslims.
Further, the SIT report ignores blatantly communal public speeches by Modi, such as the one in which he referred to relief camps for riot-survivors as "children-producing centres," saying 'We 5, our 25.' The SIT's preliminary report had refused to accept Modi's explanation that this statement was a general one on family planning, saying that it was clearly a reference to Muslim's supposed population growth. But the closure report discounts the communal implications of this speech.
In trying to defend Modi, the SIT report actually ends up further strengthening the case against him, since it justifies his 'Let Hindus vent their anger' remark and echoes his 'action-reaction' remarks. It is urgent that the evidence pertaining to Modi's role be re-examined afresh, and steps taken to ensure that truth and justice are upheld. Narendra Modi must be held accountable and punished for his role in the Gujarat communal violence!
AILC Delegation Visits Kerala to Protest Killing
An AILC delegation comprising Comrades Mangat Ram Pasla, General Secretary of CPM (Punjab), Swapan Mukherjee and Shankar V, Central Committee Members of CPI(ML) visited Onchiyam, Vadakara and Calicut on May 11, 12 and expressed deep condolences and solidarity to the party and bereaved family of the martyred comrade TP Chandrasekharan (TPC), the secretary of Left Coordination Committee (LCC) in Kerala.
Despite the gruesome killing and the CPI(M)'s politics of intimidation, the family members and comrades of Com. TP remain ever more committed to the courageous path he had chosen in forming the RMP and joining the AILC to strengthen the Left movement in the country. During the delegation's visit to their house at Onchiyam on May 11, they could witness the determination to fight back the politics of killing and intolerance. Visitors of various political hues, including Chief Minister Ommen Chandy and VS Achuthanandan of CPIM, have been visiting their house ever since the incident. VS was of course the lone CPI(M) leader to visit the family.
On the same evening, at the LCC organized condolence meeting in Vadakara town hall, people turned out in huge numbers despite heavy downpour. CPI(M) party activists too turned out in good numbers defying party dictates. Com. N Venu, the newly elected Onchiyam secretary of RMP (Revolutionary Marxist Party), presided over the meeting.
Com. Swapan Mukherjee condemned the killing in unequivocal terms and said that such killings can never halt the onward march of alternative and genuine Left movement in Kerala and in the country. He said that a clique of corrupt and degenerate leadership has taken over the CPIM party affairs in Kerala. CPI(M), instead of mobilizing Left and democratic forces as declared by their party Congress, is, in fact, acting against the genuine and alternative Left. He also called upon the people to rejuvenate the Left movement by upholding the legacy of historic struggles of Punnapra Vayalar and Onchiyam.
 Com. Mangat Ram Pasla deplored and denounced the growing intolerance within the CPI(M) leadership and their reliance on intimidation and killings and refusal to face the growing ideological-political debate against the CPI(M)'s departure from the principles of the Left movement and surrender to neo-liberal policies. He said the CPI(M) had unsuccessfully tried similar means in Punjab too to try and stop the CPM Punjab which has emerged as a stronger alternative to the official CPI(M) unit in Punjab. The condolence meeting was also addressed by leaders of various political parties barring CPI(M) and also by Left and democratic intellectuals in the district.
The AILC delegation along with comrades Hariharan and Kumaran Kutty addressed the press on May 12.
This was followed by an impressive convention of political and cultural activists at Calicut condemning the killing of Com. TPC. People from all walks of life and with various political affiliations participated in the meet. Renowned writer Mahasweta Devi inaugurated the convention. Speaking on the occasion, Com. Mangat Ram Pasla asserted that TPC was not a 'traitor' as Vijayan wants to portray him but a brave fighter upholding the legacy of the communist movement in Kerala.
The state convener of Left Coordination Committee (LCC), Kerala, Com. KS Hariharan presided over the meet. Minister for Panchayat and Social Welfare MK Muneer, Socialist Janata (Democratic) leader MP Veerendrakumar and writers from various parts of the State attended the programme.
Comrades Hariharan, state convener, Kumaran Kutty and Prakashan, state leaders of LCC, John K Erumeli, state secretary, Venugopal and Joy Peter, State Leading Team Members of CPIML in Kerala, Javaraiah, State Leading Team member of CPI(ML) in Karntaka, Manju and Sunil of AICCTU of Karnataka also accompanied the visiting delegation.
JNUSU Takes Up Cause of Myanmar Refugees
Around 2000 Rohingya refugees from Myanmar, from 623 families from the northern Rakhine state in Myanmar have been in India for the past two years, forced to wander from one place to another in search of shelter and survival. They had been in Delhi since 9 April, to take up the matter of their refugee status with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
JNUSU took up the matter of their shelter, relief, and right to humanitarian treatment as refugees. After several relocations, these refugees were staying on the open grounds of a mosque in Sultangarhi near Vasant Kunj, where they faced eviction by police as well as communal threats. In their camp, there was neither proper shelter, nor water, sanitation or medical facilities. Children were severely malnourished, and two women delivered babies under the open sky, open to sun and rain. 
JNUSU and JNU students had been arranging drinking water, medical camps, and other relief measures, and on 10 May had held a demonstration along with the Myanmarese refugees at the UNHCR office. The UNHCR, following a dialogue with the JNU Students' Union on 10 May, gave a date of 15 May for consideration of their petition. But the Delhi Police kept trying to evict them from Delhi even before they could get a hearing at the UNHCR. 
Since 12 May night JNU Students' Union members were not allowed by police to meet the refugees and hand over a relief amount that had been collected for them. On 13 May, all day, there was tension, as the police attempted to load the refugees on buses and take them to an unknown location. In the course of the day, hundreds from local villages in the area, accompanied by the local BJP MLA, gathered to demand removal of the refugees. The fact that the refugees are Muslims, has made them especially vulnerable to being targeted as 'infiltrators.' The VHP issued a press release demanding 'deportation' of 'Myanmarese and Bangladeshi' refugees, whom they branded as infiltrators and a 'security threat'. JNUSU refused to be intimidated, and continued to try and explain matters to the villagers. Several intellectuals and concerned people including former Chief Justice Rajinder Sachar, senior journalist Kuldip Nayar, advocate Sanjay Parikh, Dr Sunilam, Anand Swarup Verma, Wilfred D Costa, Anil Chaudhary, Pushpraj, and Gopal Krishna, urgently faxed the Delhi Police Commissioner asking that the refugees be allowed to remain in Delhi safely till the UNHCR heard their case. Eventually, these efforts succeeded, and the JNUSU could hand over relief to the refugees by evening.
On May 15, JNUSU SSS Councillor, Shivani Nag along with human rights lawyer went to Sultangarhi to accompany the refugee leaders to UNHCR. Two journalists were also present. However, they had to face considerable hostility from the police personnel stationed there who consistently tried to instigate the refugees against the presence of JNU students. The refugees however didn't get influenced by the instigation and continued to insist that the lawyer and the JNUSU representative be included as the participants in the meeting. Police however and didn't even allow the refugees to speak to the JNUSU representative and took them to the UNHRC Office in three separate cars. The JNUSU representative, the lawyer and the two journalists nonetheless reached the UNHRC office in a separate vehicle to monitor situation.
The meeting transpired for nearly three and a half hours during which the JNUSU representative, lawyer and journalist were subjected to highhanded behaviour by the police not even being allowed stand in the vicinity of the office premises. After the meeting, the refugee representatives were whisked away by police, and two of them were detained by the police illegally for hours, with other refugees and JNUSU having no knowledge of their whereabouts.
On May 15, the JNUSU leaders along with Myanmar refugees' representatives also met Delhi CM Sheila Dixit, and Congress MP Digvijay Singh.
At a separate briefing to concerned parties including the JNUSU, the UNHRC Chief assured that they would continue to work towards ensuring that the basic rights of safety, education and health facilities are not denied to refugees once they return to the places in India from where they had come. They also assured that concrete steps would be taken to ensure that all the rights available to those with the Asylum Seeker's Card which included that they are not unduly deported or detained are guaranteed.
JNUSU will keep up the mobilization and vigilance that have been built up during these days to ensure that the government, government agencies, UNHRC continue to honour their commitment towards protecting the rights of the refugees.
First Uttarakhand CPI(ML) Conference
The first State conference of CPI(ML) in Uttarakhand was held at Haldwani on 13-14 May. The Conference site was named in memory of late party leader Comrade Dipak Bose who had initiated the work of building the CPI(ML) as an organised party in Uttarakhand.
On the first day, an open session was held with a seminar on the challenges of building an Uttarakhand free of corruption and mafia rule. Speakers at the Seminar included CPIM State Secretary Com. Vijay Rawat, Uttarakhand Jan Sangharsh Vahini Shamsher Singh Bisht, and several other intellectuals from Haldwani. The main speaker was CPI(ML) General Secretary Comrade Dipankar Bhattacharya.
In-charge of the Uttarakhand Leading Team, Comrade Raja Bahuguna, presented a detailed document on the political situation, the party's history in Uttarakhand, its initiatives after state-formation, and an assessment of its work and organisation. The report was adopted by the house after being discussed and debated enthusiastically by the delegates.
Party GS Comrade Dipankar, addressing the Conference, warmly congratulated the comrades for holding their first state conference, saying that the party's long-standing work in a hill state like Uttarakhand had added a valuable chapter to the all-India party's experiences. The party had been active at the time of the movement for separate statehood. After formation of the new state, big capital and mega projects are making inroads into the state, bringing mega loot in their wake. We must champion the struggles to resist the loot of water, forests, and land, and organise workers, peasants, and women in mass movements. He stressed the need to give a strong organisational shape to the party's mass struggles in Uttarakhand, and said that the party would gain strength from forging closest possible unity with the masses.         
Under supervision of Central observer, CCM Com. Dhirendra Jha, a 13-member State Committee was unanimously elected by the house, which in turn unanimously elected Comrade Rajendra Pratholi as State Secretary. The rest of the State Committee comprises Comrades Raja Bahuguna, Purushottam Sharma, Bahadur Singh Jangi, Nishan Singh, Indresh Maikhuri, KK Bora, Kailash Pandey, Jagat Martoliya, Anand Singh, Man Singh Pal, Malti Haldar, and Surendra Brijwal.
Addressing the Conference, State Secretary Comrade Rajendra Pratholi said that the newly elected committee would strive to implement the directive adopted by the Conference, and to build a strong revolutionary party in Uttarakhand.       
Central observer Comrade Dhirendra Jha said that there is a strong team of leading comrades in Uttarakhand, who will certainly take on the challenge of ensuring continuity of workers' and peasants' struggles and building the party on firm foundations.
The Conference passed several political resolutions including a demand of CBI enquiry into the 121 scams which took place in the past decade of BJP-Congress rule; condemning CM Vijay Bahuguna's support for NCTC, SEZs and anti-people hydroelectric projects and his move to hold a Cabinet meeting at Gairsain without declaring it as the permanent State Capital; withdrawal of all false cases against CPI(ML) activists and other people's movement activists since state formation; and demanding punishment for those responsible for the brutal police assault on AIKM leader Comrade Rajaram Singh.
Bihar Bandh
The May 10 Bihar Bandh called by the CPI(ML) demanding dismissal of the DM and SP responsible for the brutal police assault on protestors against Aurangabad's Chhotu Mukhiya, especially the attack on CPI(ML) CCM Comrade Rajaram Singh, received a very warm response. Several train routes were blockaded, and the GT Road as well as other national highways and state highways and main roads connecting district HQs with blocks, were blockaded for hours.
In the state capital, Patna, the first contingent of Bandh supporters marched from Patna Railway Station to Dakbangla Crossing, which they completely blockaded. This contingent was led by CCM Comrade KD Yadav, AIALA National President Rameshwar Prasad and General Secretary Dhirendra Jha, RYA GS Kamlesh Sharma, State Committee members Umesh Singh, Satyanarayan Prasad and others.  
The main contingent led by party GS Comrade Dipankar Bhattacharya, PBMs Ramjatan Sharma, Nand Kishor Prasad, Amar, State Secretary Kunal, Central office secretary Prabhat Kumar, AISA State Secretary Abhyuday, and others marched from the south gate of Gandhi Maidam at 11 am and converged at Dakbangla Crossing, where a mass meeting was held, addressed by Comrade Dipankar, AISA-RYA leaders Comrades Abhyuday and Kamlesh, and other senior party leaders.  
AIPWA State Secretary Shashi Yadav and Patna town committee member Murtaza Ali led a sizeable procession in the Chitkohra-Aneesabad area, which blockaded the junction for hours. Another huge procession led by AICCTU State Secretary Ranvijay and party town committee member Pannalal closed shops and markets in Kankadbad. This procession too reached Dakbangla Crossing and joined the main gathering there.
AIPWA State Joint-Secretary Anita Sinha and party town committee member Satyendra Sharma led scores of bandh supporters to blockade the Bailey Road at Ashiyana turning for two hours, holding a mass meeting there. In Patna City, CPI(ML)'s Area Committee secretary Naseem Ansari, peasant leader Shambhunath Mehta, RYA leaders Ramnarayan Singh and Suresh Sahni led a massive procession which closed down shops in the mandi area, and then blockaded Shaheed Bhagat Singh crossing.      
Addressing the mass meeting at Dakbangla Crossing, Comrade Dipankar said that the successful bandh, supported by all sections of people, is a challenge to Nitish's rule, and that the struggle to ensure justice for the victims of Forbesganj firing, Comrade Bhaiyyaram, Comrade Surendra Yadav, Mukhiya Chhotu Mushwaha, and to ensure a CBI enquiry into the Aurangabad murder and police barbarism, dismissal of the DM and SP of Aurangabad, and immediate release of the 29 jailed protestors including Comrade Rajaram Singh, and justice for Bathani Tola victims, would continue.
Scores of bandh supporters were arrested all over Patna, and including Party General Secretary Comrade Dipankar Bhattacharya, State Secretary Comrade Kunal, and several PBMs and CCMs.    
The Purva Express was stopped at Ara, truck traffic was completely stopped at Jehanabad, and the Patna-Gaya train line could not function. Trains were stopped at Darbhanga, Vaishali, Biharsharif, Forbesganj, Siwan, Sikta, Gaya, Kaimur and West Champaran. Huge processions stopped the functioning of Courts at Gopalganj and Jaynagar. Buses, schools, and shops remained non-functional under pressure from bandh supporters at many places all over the State.
District secretaries of Samastipur, Biharsharif, Bhabhua and CPI(ML)'s Rohtas leader Jawahar Yadav were among those arrested while blockading highways and streets, and mass arresting took place at Madhubani, West Champaran, Bhabhua, Chhapra, and Ara. 

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

ML Update 20 / 2012

ML Update

A CPI(ML) Weekly News Magazine

Vol. 15, No. 20, 08 – 14 MAY 2012

Resist Rising Injustice, Crime and Repression 

in Nitish's Bihar

With every fresh, glaring instance of feudal criminality and mockery of justice, the Nitish Government's slogan of 'development with justice' is being exposed.

The latest instance is the severe repression on CPI(ML) Central Committee member and former MLA Comrade Rajaram Singh and other activists leading the struggle against the murder of a young panchayat mukhiya (head) in Aurangabad district of Bihar. On 29 March, 32-year-old Chhotu Kushwaha, an RJD-supported panchayat mukhiya, was murdered. The facts indicate that the murder was executed by a criminal gang led by ex-Ranveer Sena leader Sushil Pandey (also an accused in the Laxmanpur Bathe massacre), who is known to be close to the JD(U) MLA from the Goh constituency, Ranvijay Sharma, who also has criminal antecedents and is behind bars.

What is even more notable is that the local police and administration are directly implicated in the murder. The young mukhiya had been raising his voice against the grab of gairmazarua land (common land meant for redistribution among landless) by powerful landowners, one of whom is related to the local BDO. The mukhiya was murdered when returning from a visit to the BDO's office, from where he had left, accompanied by a police constable.

The CPI(ML) had played a leading role in the resistance to the murder. A struggle front against the murder, of which the CPI(ML) is a leading constituent, is demanding a CBI enquiry into the murder, in which so many powerful people including the MLA, BDO and SHO, are implicated. Under the banner of the joint struggle front, a massive demonstration took place on 2 May at the Aurangabad DM's office. The police launched a brutal lathi-charge on the protestors, singling out former MLA Comrade Rajaram Singh for the severest assault. In the presence of the SP, Comrade Rajaram Singh was severely beaten, on the street as well as twice inside custody. 29 protestors including Comrade Rajaram Singh have been jailed.

The murders of Chhotu mukhiya and CPI(ML)'s Rohtas secretary Comrade Bhaiyaram Yadav by JD(U) backed feudal-criminal forces are part of a larger pattern. In Aurangabad itself, the Sushil Pandey gang and JD(U)-backed criminals are implicated in a series of murders of elected representatives and common people from the dalit-backward communities. The Nitish Government had already shown its true colours when it disbanded the Amir Das Commission, shelved the recommendations of the land reform commission, and allowed Ranveer Sena chief Brahmeshwar Singh to get bail: and the acquittal of the accused in the Bathani Tola massacre followed as a natural consequence. Meanwhile, while Brahmeshwar Singh and his team of killers are free, Bodhan Sada and nine others from the musahar community (rechristened 'mahadalit' by Nitish) stand sentenced to death on the weakest of evidence, in the Amausi massacre case. Earlier, in the Forbesganj police firing, the Bihar police under Nitish Kumar had shown its class and communal hatred for the poor and minorities who dare to resist powerful and corrupt land grabbers.

In this backdrop, the CPI(ML) has called for a Bihar bandh on 10 May, demanding justice for Bathani Tola and Forbesganj, Bhaiyaram Yadav, Chhotu mukhiya, and Bodhan Sada, and protesting the repression against protestors including Comrade Rajaram Singh.

Popular resistance will continue to grow, upholding the urge for and commitment to justice and democracy – and resisting the regime of repression and injustice!

Heinous Assassination of Comrade Chandrashekharan: 

CPI(M) Has Questions to Answer

The brutal killing of Comrade TP Chandrashekharan, Secretary of the Left Coordination Committee (LCC) Kerala on the night of 4 May, has shocked democratic people in Kerala and all over the country. The circumstances of the murder raise disturbing questions about the CPI(M)'s complicity with the worst form of political violence.

Comrade TP Chandrashekharan had been a state-level SFI leader and former CPI(M) Area Secretary of Onchiyum, one of the historic birthplaces of the Left movement in Kerala. He left the CPI(M) in 2008, and in order to uphold and defend the fighting Left movement, joined other likeminded comrades in forming the Revolutionary Marxist Party (RMP). The Left Coordination Committee (LCC) was then formed along with RMP and other Left groups that had broken away from the CPI(M). The LCC Kerala is one of the founding constituents of the All India Left Coordination (AILC) that also includes the CPI(ML), CPM Punjab, Lal Nishan Party (Leninist) of Maharashtra, and Communist Party of Revolutionary Marxists (CPRM).

Comrade Chandrashekharan was hacked to death with sharp instruments, and his face so badly disfigured that only his body could be identified. Assailants threw bombs to keep people away from the spot. The horrific brutality of the killing was greeted with widespread outrage and condemnation in Kerala and outside.

There are many reasons why the Kerala CPI(M) is implicated in the murder. Foremost is the fact that ever since the formation of the RMP and LCC Kerala, their cadres have been at the receiving end of physical attacks by the CPI(M). And on February 19, not long before the CPI(M)'s Kozhikode Party Congress, a bike rally by LCC comrades preparing for the RMP's Onchiyam area conference was attacked by CPI(M) cadres, followed by attacks on LCC offices. On the same day, CPI(M) State Secretary Pinarayi Vijayan had given a speech at a CPI(M) public meeting, warning that 'heads would roll.' On February 21, hired goons attacked the home of one LCC comrade and severely injured him with a sword. Comrade Chandrashekharan being hacked to death by hired goons is clearly no isolated instance – it follows a series of physical assaults and threats against the RMP by the CPI(M), including attacks of a very similar nature – i.e. sword attacks by hired goons.

Among the large number of public figures who paid final homage to Comrade Chandrashekharan at Kozhikode and Vadakara, were the Chief Minister Oomen Chandy and CPI(M)'s veteran leader Comrade VS Achutanandan. The latter paid glowing tributes to Comrade Chandrashekharan, calling him a brave communist. Former CPI(M) MLA and SFI leader Simon Britto also paid tributes to the martyred comrade. But the official CPI(M) leadership in Kerala, while disowning and condemning the killing, exposed its disrespect for Comrade Chandrashekharan even in death. The CPI(M) State Secretary Pinarayi Vijayan said that VS' remarks hailing Comrade Chandrashekharan's communist character were his personal opinion, which the CPI(M) would not care to endorse!

An all-party Kerala bandh called by a range of Left organisations (excepting the CPI(M)), and also by the ruling UDF, to protest the murder received a warm response. The CPI(M) has claimed that the murder was orchestrated to falsely implicate the CPI(M) in the murder in order to benefit the UDF on the eve of the by-poll in the Neyyattinkara Assembly constituency that is due in early June. But this claim appears far-fetched, given the recent history of similar attacks by CPI(M) on the RMP cadres, and the official CPI(M) leadership's pointed distancing from any gesture of respect for the martyred comrade.

The CPI(M) is no stranger to the culture of political violence – and it is the CPI(M) which, above all, must answer for the heinous and unforgiveable murder of Comrade TP Chandrashekharan. The CPI(ML) demands a speedy enquiry to identify and punish not just the actual killers, but the political conspirators who hired them. Red Salute to Comrade TP Chandrashekharan!

Protests Follow Brutal Lathicharge 

and Arrest of Comrade Rajaram Singh

The RJD-supported mukhiya of Sonhattu panchayat in Haspura block of Aurangabad district in Bihar, Chhotu Kushwaha was shot dead on 29 March. He had been opposing the grab of gairmazarua land meant for the landless poor, and as a result of his efforts, the land was to be officially measured on 30 March. 38 decimals of gairmazarua land had been grabbed by Bindeshwari Sharma and Narayan Sharma, and the latter is related to the Haspura BDO. On 29 March, Chhotu mukhiya was called to Haspura by the BDO. On his return journey by bike, he was initially accompanied by a police constable, who however alighted from the bike on the way, and the murder happened soon after. The suspected killers are of the Sushil Pandey gang, close to the criminal JD(U) MLA Ranvijay Sharma who is in jail. Since the MLA, SP, SHO, and BDO are all implicated in the murder, we have demanded a CBI enquiry into the killing.

On 2nd April, a Haspura bandh was observed on CPI(ML)'s call. The Mukhiya Sangh supported the call, and the protest meeting on the day of the bandh was addressed by former CPI(ML) MLA Comrade Rajaram Singh, and former RJD MP Kanti Singh. A huge gathering attended a Sankalp Sabha on 5 April, at which the Chhotu Mukhiya Hatya Virodhi Sangharsh Morcha (struggle front against the murder) was formed, and it was announced that if Sushil Pandey was not arrested within a month, a massive protest march would be held on 2 May.

The DM's permission had been especially sought and taken for the 2 May procession. Yet, the police launched a brutal lathi-charge, attacking not just the protestors but even common bystanders. Rajaram Singh, who is the main leader in the struggle, was especially targeted for the most severe beating, which took place in the presence of the SP. Even inside the police station, Comrade Rajaram Singh was beaten twice. Chhotu mukhiya's wife was also beaten up and arrested, but later released. But 29 protestors, most of them CPI(ML) supporters as well as Comrade Rajaram Singh, have been jailed.

On 2 May itself, CPI(ML) protests against the brutal repression took place at Daudnagar, Arwal, Kurtha and Jehanabad. A state-wide protest day and an Aurangabad bandh called by CPI(ML) was observed on 4 May. On 5, 6 and 7 May, a 3-day dharna was held by the CPI(ML) at Patna. State Secretary Comrade Kunal visited Comrade Rajaram Singh in jail. A Bihar Bandh has been called by the party on 10 May, 'Against Rising Injustice, Crime and Police repression, for Justice and Democracy', highlighting the questions of the Bathani Tola verdict, murders of Comrade Bhaiyaram and Chhotu mukhiya, the death sentence for Bodhan Sada, and the Forbesganj firing.

'Save Land Rights' Rally 

Against Subversion of CNT Act in Jharkhand

In Jharkhand, the BJP Government has for long been making moves to dilute the CNT Act, one of the crucial and historic pieces of legislation to protect tribal land rights that was won by tribal struggles. The CNT Act and other land rights legislations are a hurdle in the path of corporate plunder of land, minerals, and forests.

But since diluting the CNT Act outright is not easy, the Government has tried to subvert the Act by underhand means. In Ramgarh district, the Bedia tribe is one of the main beneficiaries of the CNT Act. In order to deny the Bedias the benefits of the CNT, and therefore to free their land for corporate land grab, the Government recently changed the status of Bedias from Scheduled Tribes (ST) to Other Backward Classes (OBC). The move paves the way for land grab by the corporates, mainly the Jindal corporation, which has widespread mining and other interests in the region. Since then, the affected people have launched a struggle to protest the move. On 8 May, a Bhoomi Raksha Adhikar (Save Land Rights) Rally was held by CPI(ML) in Bhurkunda, in Patratu block of Ramgarh district, in which more than 3000 local people participated. The rally was addressed by CPI(ML) General Secretary Comrade Dipankar Bhattacharya, CPI(ML) MLA Comrade Vinod Singh, as well as local CPI(ML) activists and struggle leaders Comrades Devaki Nandan Bedia and Neeta Bedia, and Party's State Committee member Chandranath Bhai Patel. District Secretary Mohan Dutta as well as Politburo member DP Buxi, and State Secretary Comrade Janardan were also present.

Condemn US Secretary of State's Meddling 

in India's Policies and Internal Politics

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's visit to West Bengal is fraught with dangerous political implications for India's sovereignty. Clinton spoke of West Bengal's crucial place in the 'Silk Route' of economic and trade relations, and is said to have made forays on several policy matters including sharing of Teesta waters between Bangladesh and West Bengal.

Diplomatic relations are between countries, and the trend of representatives of foreign states dealing directly with State Governments to discuss policy matters, violates this basic parameter of international relations. In particular, the US Secretary of State's statement advising India against the oil pipeline with Iran encroaches on India's sovereignty and is highly objectionable. Statements attributed to her that apparently welcomed the change of political power in Bengal, treads on the internal political territory of the country, and are condemnable.

The Wikileaks cables had revealed the dealings of US representatives with the CPI(M)'s West Bengal Government and its Chief Minister, and the latter's friendly overtures to US capital, as well as imperialist political representatives. However, this is the first time a US Secretary of State has made a visit of this kind expressly to meet a Chief Minister. The latter has expressed gleeful 'pride' in getting an approving American pat on the back.

The US is clearly seeking to play politics in India, and exploit the new regime in West Bengal to further its economic and geopolitical interests in the region. These attempts, and the cosy complicity of the West Bengal Chief Minister, are highly condemnable and deserving of sharp protest.

May Day 2012

Some May Day events were reported in the previous issue. Here we carry the rest.

DELHI: Thousands of workers participated in a joint May Day rally from Ramlila Maidan to Chandni Chowk in the evening, where it culminated in a meeting. Comrade Santosh Rai addressed the massive meeting on behalf of the AICCTU. The rally was led by AICCTU, AITUC, CITU, HMS, AIUTUC, TUCC, UTUC, Workers' Unity Committee apart from federations from Railway, Bank and Insurance. AICCTU-affiliated union in Lala Ram Swaroop TB Hospital observed May Day where Sangwari rendered revolutionary songs and Comrades Ram Kishan and Kavita addressed a meeting. The Union Office was also inaugurated. A rally was held in Wazirpur led by Comrade Mathura Paswan. MTNL Employees Unity Union also observed May Day.

CHHATTISGARH: Rally and meeting was held at Ghadi Chowk and Supela in Bhilai. A meeting was held at Maroda Gate of Bhilai Steel Plant in the evening. A rally was held at Rajnandgaon that started from Railway Station and culminated in a meeting at Imam Chowk. May Day was also observed at Bilaspur and Raipur.

PUDUCHERRY: Party and AICCTU flags were hoisted in almost all Party branches and wherever we have trade union work. At CPI(ML) State Office in Puducherry Comrade S Balasubramanian, State Secretary, hoisted the Flag. All State Committee members (SCMs) were present. All India Central Council of Trade Union' (AICCTU's) Flag was hoisted by Comrade S Motilal, State Secretary of AICCTU.

In the evening AICCTU organised a special May Day Convention at Puducherry. The convention was on "The Issues and Demands of Interstate Migrant Workers in Puducherry". Speakers in the convention were Comrades S. Balasubramanian, Puducherry's Party State Secretary and Comrade Hirapaswan, a CPI(ML) leader from Bihar among others.

The following resolutions were passed by the convention: (1) immediate notification of Inter-State Migrant Workers' Act 1979 (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) and its rules, (2) Abolition of Contract labour system in Puducherry through government's notification, (3) All labour welfare laws should be extended strictly to all interstate migrant workers in Puducherry UT, (4) Minimum Floor Level wages should be Rs. 11,000/- irrespective of trade or industry; among some other resolutions.

A large number of interstate migrant workers and their spouses were present in the convention along with local workers. An interactive session was also held during the convention. Many migrant workers including women spoke about their challenging existence and difficulties at workplaces.

KARNATAKA: May Day rallies and hoisting flags visibly marked the growth of AICCTU in each passing year. We began with a single union in readymix concrete industry in Bangalore and now spread across various sections of workers and various districts of Karnataka. May Day programmes were held in Bangalore, Koppal, Davanagere, parts of Bellary and Mysore. New expansion this year is Mangalore.

In Bangalore alone, we hoisted flags at more than 17 places spread across the length and breadth of the city. Bangalore unit of AICCTU organised a colourful and impressive rally on May Day. Workers of corporate and MNCs participated in the rally in good numbers. High pitched slogans against the UPA government at the centre and the BJP government at the state made a difference in a scenario of apolitical or limited political slogans raised by other trade unions.

CPI(ML) State Secretary Comrade Ramappa called upon the workers to join political mainstream to challenge the powers that be. He called upon workers to join the political struggle to unseat the anti-worker BJP from state power. Comrade Shankar, VP of AICCTU reemphasised the need to launch major struggles once again demanding 8-hour workday and abolition of contract labour system. He called upon workers to join the struggle beyond four walls of the factories.

In Gangavati of Koppal district, AICCTU organised an impressive rally led by Comrade Bharadwaj, State President of AICCTU. The rally focussed on the issue of keeping attendance registers and minimum wages to rice mill workers. The rallyists also resolved to carry forward the struggle until the demands are fulfilled. District administration and labour departments were given an ultimatum of 15 May to ensure attendance registers in all rice mills. Various cross sections of workers including tractor and taxi drivers, auto technicians, brick kiln and construction workers, vendors and domestic workers participated in the rally. AICCTU workers of Mangalore marched on the streets after hoisting their first May Day flag.

TAMILNADU: In Chennai, a total of 700 workers and cadres participated in various May Day programmes. In Ambattur area comrades hoisted flags at gates of 15 different factories and 15 residential areas where Party or TU branches exist. CPI(ML) Flags were hoisted at 10 centres. In Tiruvellore district, All India Agricultural Labourers' Association (AIALA) flag hoisted at 6 places and AICCTU flag hoisted at 15 centres.

In Kanjipuram, flag hoisting at 10 places, mostly construction workers' localities. At many places veteran comrades and especially women comrades hoisted the flag. In the evening a public meeting was held that was addressed by Comrade Janakiraman, State GS of AIALA and Comrade Palanivel, State Secretary of AICCTU among others. A good number of migrant workers participated in the meeting.

In Tanjore, union flags hoisted at 16 centres where union branches are functioning. In Dindigul, AICCTU flag hoisted at 6 places. In Tiruchi, contract workers of Ordnance Factory took out a rally and hoisted AICCTU flag led by Comrade Desikan, State Secretary. In Karur, AICCTU flag was hoisted at Velayudhampalayam, residential area of tailors working for export garments. In Pudukottai district, AIALA flags were hoisted at 27 centres by 3 teams of Party and AIALA cadres. In Tirunelveli, CPI(ML) and AICCTU flags were hoisted at 22 places. A cycle rally of 50 cadres criss-crossed Tirunelveli town, Pettai and Mukkodal covering the 22 centres which includes beedi union branches, load-workers union and auto drivers union.

In Salem, hundreds of workers took part at various centres of AICCTU flag hoisting. Co-optex employees union observed May Day. In Coimbatore more than 100 cadres drove motor bikes observing May Day by hoisting flags at 20 centres. In Namakkal district flag hoisting and union boards were put up at 10 centres. In Villupuram district, AIALA flags were hoisted at 5 places. In Dindivanam, Load-workers working in civil supplies corporation observed May Day by hoisting their union flag. Newly formed construction labour union also hoisted their flag. In Dharmapuri, a convention was organized by State Electricity Board Union and AICCTU state office bearers Comrade Jawahar and Chandramohan addressed the gathering. More than 100 employees participated.

ODISHA: May Day was celebrated in Bhubaneswar, Rayagada, Puri, Kendrapara, Rourkela, Khurdha, Gajapati. The East-coast Railway Sweepers' Union, Motorboat Workers Union, Construction Workers Union, Rickshaw-Cooli Workers Union, Garage Workers Union and Steel Workers Union among others participated in different places.

JHARKHAND: 400 construction workers and non-gazetted employees participated in the May Day march in Ranchi. Flags were hoisted and sankalp sabhas held at different places in Dhanbad's coal-belt. Flag hoisting and march held at Chas and Bokaro. Public meeting was held in evening and street-corner meetings were held on two consecutive days prior to May Day. Marches were held in Bermo and Chandankiyari.

A large number of construction workers participated in the march and public meeting at Ramgarh town. Unorganised workers participated in a meeting at Argadda in Ramgarh district.  Flag hoisted at Ara and Giddi 'C' collieries and a joint seminar organised at Giddi by AICCTU, CPI and MCC. Workers from Banjhedih power plant in Koderma held a dharna and later marched to Jhanda Chowk where they held a meeting. March culminating in a meeting took place in Devghar, Naunihaat and Shikaripada in Dumka district, at Bagodar in Giridih district, and Bengabad. May Day was also observed at Gawan, Rajdhanwar, Jamshedpur and Jamtada.

BIHAR: Flag hoisting and marches, rallies were observed on May Day throughout the State. Flag was hoisted at Nalanda Biscuit Factory, at the gates of Patna Dairy and Bankosh Company in Patliputra Industrial Area, hundreds of AICCTU cadres assembled at the office in the afternoon for hoisting the flag. Here, a meeting was held. From the State office of AICCTU a rally was taken out that marched through Industries Association and merged with joint Central Trade Union rallies. The rally was addressed by Comrade RN Thakur, State GS of AICCTU, on behalf of the AICCTU.

A large number of construction workers marched in Jehanabad and two places in Bhojpur where meetings were also held. In Gaya, the May Day celebration began very early at 4 a.m. and comrades covered 35 km with red flags on 25 motorbikes. Meeting was held at Govt. Press. Construction workers hoisted flag and held a meeting in Manpur. May Day was also observed in Bhagalpur with more than 500 workers participation, and AICCTU march throughout the town, Vaishali, Leheriaserai, Darbhanga, Nalanda, Bihar Sharif and Saran (Chhapra).


 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:, website: