Sunday, July 29, 2012

ML Update 31 / 2012

ML Update

A CPI(ML) Weekly News Magazine

Vol.  15                          No. 31                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        24 - 30 JUL 2012

Presidential Poll 2012 and Beyond

As anticipated, Pranab Mukherjee has won the Presidential race hands down. With the UPA eventually staying intact, and support coming in from sections of NDA as well as the Left Front, as from formally unaffiliated parties like the Samajwadi Party, Bahujan Samaj Party and Rashtriya Janata Dal, Pranab Mukherjee's emphatic victory was a foregone conclusion. Pranab Mukherjee has not just been a prominent Congress leader, but a crucial architect and custodian of the pro-US neoliberal order that has been shaped over the last two decades. Only the future can tell us the implications of having such a key bourgeois leader as the President of India.

The Congress has definitely used this occasion to the hilt to try and shore up its fortunes and corner its rivals. The resounding victory of Pranab Mukherjee in the Presidential election marks an eloquent contrast to the pathetic performance of the Congress in all recent Assembly elections and by-elections. This has certainly been possible only because the Presidential election is an indirect election and it does not directly reflect the public mood or the real situation on the ground. To treat the Presidential election outcome as a sign of turnaround for the Congress will therefore be clearly premature and unrealistic. In fact, the Congress wanted a key leader as President precisely in anticipation of a hung Parliament in 2014 where the Congress could well lose its position as the single largest party.

Yet the fact remains that it is the BJP which has emerged the biggest loser in the Presidential poll. For the BJP it could have been an opportunity to showcase the renewed potential of the NDA as the rallying point for non-Congress non-Left forces. But in the event, two of the BJP's long-standing allies, Shiv Sena and the JD(U), deserted the BJP and sided with the Congress, indicating clearly that in today's politics, corporate preference prevails over 'coalition dharma,' or more precisely, it is corporate power that can easily make or unmake bourgeois coalitions. Mr. PA Sangma, whose candidature was eventually backed by the BJP, was actually fielded by two regional parties, the AIADMK of Tamil Nadu and BJD of Odisha, and the BJP was left without any initiative.

The Presidential election over, the ruling coalition is now getting ready for the next big battle, the 2014 Lok Sabha election. The drama of political succession in the Congress seems ready for resolution and Rahul Gandhi has declared his intent to play a bigger 'pro-active role' in the affairs of the Congress party and UPA government. Meanwhile, the pressure on Manmohan Singh to 'perform' has been on the increase from Indian corporates as well as Western powers. The Time magazine ran a cover story branding Singh an 'underachiever', Obama openly called for a freer flow of FDI into India, a British daily ridiculed Singh as Sonia's poodle, and Ratan Tata, while recalling Singh's role as the architect of neoliberal reforms, also added a quiet reminder that it was time for Singh to step up the gas. By every indication, the Congress will try to use the last two years of the lame duck Prime Minister to intensify the neoliberal economic assault, while doing everything possible to project Rahul and corner the BJP/NDA over the issue of leadership.

The Congress looks forward to a Rahul Gandhi versus Narendra Modi showdown in 2014. The forthcoming Gujarat election would also have the same theme, but this mini battle will be played on Modi's home turf, while the bigger battle in 2014, the Congress hopes, may work more favourably for the Congress. While it will surely rattle the NDA by forcing parties like the JD(U) to take a final call, the Samajwadi Party and the CPI(M) would have no problem aligning with the Congress in such a scenario. The Congress also hopes that the anti-Congress edge of the anti-corruption public mood would be blunted with time, what with governments led by the BJP and other parties all getting equally embroiled in mega scams.

Against this backdrop, the coming days are crucial for the people's movement in the country. The mass resentment against corruption and economic crisis and the aspiration for change must be pushed in a radical direction. What need to be changed are the policies that govern the economy and the country, and not a mere rhetorical shift in slogans and a generation change in leadership. The crisis of the Congress and the waning support for the BJP could be an ideal moment for the Left and its politics of social transformation and people's rights. What the CPI(M)'s decision to support the Congress in the Presidential election amounts to is an injustice to this great possibility, and a complete abdication of the political responsibility of the Left. The organisations and struggles of the working people and the progressive intelligentsia must reject and overturn the suicidal course of the CPI(M), and press for a determined advance against the corporate plunder, social injustice and violation of democracy.

Captain Lakshmi Sehgal Passes Away

Legendary freedom fighter and leader of the women's regiment of the Azad Hind Fauj (Indian National Army) Captain Lakshmi Sehgal passed away of a heart attack on 23 July. She was 97. 

Trained as a doctor, Captain Lakshmi had been working a doctor in Singapore when she came in contact with Subhash Chandra Bose. She came to lead the Rani Jhansi women's regiment of the Indian National Army in 1943. She was captured by the British and brought back to India in 1946. She married another INA comrade, Prem Sehgal.

As a doctor in Kanpur, she worked tirelessly and generously to provide the best medical care to the poor, especially women and children. She was dedicated to the cause of women's liberation, and was staunch in her lifelong commitment to the Left movement. In 2002, she contested as the Left candidate for the post of President.

Captain Lakshmi will always be fondly remembered and revered by people all over the country for her unassuming nature, her simplicity, her anti-imperialist role, and her spirit of public service. And Left ranks will always find inspiration in her unwavering commitment to revolutionary struggles for social transformation. CPI(ML) dips its flag to the memory of Captain Lakshmi Sehgal, and expresses heartfelt condolences to her family and comrades.  

Red Salute to Captain Lakshmi Sehgal! 

Atrocities on Dalit Youth Leading Struggle Over Land   

 On July 15, Tika Ram was among the youths from Ramgarh village in Dadri who attended the Convention on Bathani Tola in Delhi, and spoke of their struggle against the grab of land allocated to dalits by the gram pradhan Kuldeep Bhati.   

On July 20, Tika Ram was found on the railway tracks, his body mutilated and both legs severed. Doctors at the AIIMS Trauma Centre have had to further amputate his legs to save his life, which is still in danger. Meanwhile, four other youth leaders of the struggle against land grab have been jailed – on fabricated charges of shooting a girl.   

The murderous assault on Tika Ram, and the arrest of his comrades, is the latest in a series of violent acts – all aimed at punishing those dalits who dared oppose the grab of land by the powerful gram pradhan who is of the dominant Gujjar community.

Way back when Mayawati was still in power, Brahm Jatav and some other dalit youths raised their voice against the move by Kuldeep Bhati, gram pradhan, to grab 4.75 bighas of panchayat land allocated to dalits as homestead land. Bhati and his supporters encircled the dalits' land and homes with a 7-foot-high wall. On March 14, to punish Brahm Jatav and others for daring to protest, Bhati and his thugs attacked the dalit hamlet, seriously injuring around 30 people, mostly women.

In spite of repeated protests since then, Gautam Buddh Nagar district administration has not lifted a finger to end the illegal encirclement of dalit land, and the perpetrators of the March 14 attack were not arrested. Bhati and his supporters repeatedly warned that they would 'teach a lesson' to the dalit youths and ensure that they never dared to raise their voice again.   

On the night of July 19, a dalit girl was injured by a bullet inside her own home. The same night, Tika Ram went missing from the front yard of his house, where he had been sleeping. In the early morning of July 20, police arrived and arrested Brahm Jatav, Veerpal, Roshan and Guddan from their homes, charging them with shooting the girl. They charged Tika Ram also with the shooting. It was then that Tika Ram's family realized he was missing, and looked for him. They found him lying mutilated near the railway tracks. When Tika Ram regained consciousness, he told his family that four people – Nepal, Dayaram, Anil Bhati alias Kalu and Kuldeep Bhati, kidnapped him at gun-point from the front of his house.   

Throughout the day of July 20, while Tika Ram battled for life, the police refused to arrest those whom he had named as his attackers. It was only after a gherao of the police station for several hours by dalit women and children, led by RYA leader Aslam Khan, that the police finally agreed to lodge an FIR in the night. Subsequently Dayaram and Kalu (Anil Bhati) have been arrested, but Nepal and Kuldeep Bhati continue to be at large. The main accused Kuldeep Bhati, in fact, is seen openly moving around the village with a police gunner – yet the police claim inability to arrest him. The dominant Gujjars have been audacious enough to protest against the arrest of Anil Bhati – and the Greater NOIDA police and administration are clearly under their thumb. They continue to terrorise the dalits daily, and there is every danger that more atrocities and acts of violence against dalits may occur at any time. The police has even withdrawn the security that it had initially provided for a short time.      

Right from the beginning, a small section of dalits in the village have been acting as agents for Kuldeep Bhati and his supporters. With their help, Bhati has falsely implicated the main dalit youth leaders, in order to deflect from the land struggle. As a result, the land struggle has indeed been pushed back, with the main dalit leaders having to fight to prove their innocence against the cooked-up 'attempt to murder' charges. The sheer horror of Tika Ram's mutilation too is aimed as a deterrent for the dalits to continue with their struggle to defend their land.

The RYA and CPI(ML) are demanding that, since the Greater NOIDA administration's bias is apparent, an impartial judicial enquiry be ordered to establish who in fact shot at the dalit girl, and who are responsible for the murderous attack and mutilation of Tika Ram. The four innocent youths who have nothing whatsoever to do with the shooting of the girl, that happened within the four walls of her own house, must be freed without delay, and the charges of attempted murder withdrawn. Round-the-clock police protection must be provided for all the dalit families in the village. 

The Greater NOIDA administration must answer as to why the illegal 7-foot wall erected around common panchayat land is yet to be demolished. The wall must be demolished and the land allocated amongst dalits, and the latter must be given possession of the land. The UP Government and Greater NOIDA administration must also answer why Kuldeep Bhati, who himself is guilty of grabbing panchayat land and unleashing a spate of violent atrocities on dalits, is yet to be removed from his position as gram pradhan. 

Protest Against Witch-Hunt of Maruti Workers

On 18 July, yet another scene of violence in the auto industry was enacted, which claimed the life of an HR manager. What was responsible for this tragic sequence of events – which keeps being repeated in factory after factory in India?

The mainstream media is baying for the blood of the workers, accusing them of being bloodthirsty, 'instigated by Maoists', and so on. More than 90 workers have been jailed. The incident is being used as a pretext to prescribe stringent 'reform' in labour laws. The very root of the problem is being touted as the solution.

What made the workers erupt in fury that day? According to the Maruti Suzuki Workers Union (MSWU), negotiations were underway on the charter of demands submitted by the Union. On 18 July, a supervisor on the shop floor made a casteist remark against a dalit worker of the permanent category. The latter protested – but he was suspended, while no action was taken against the supervisor. It is a tribute to the unity of the workers that all the permanent and contract workers, irrespective of caste, rose up to protest this discrimination. The workers approached the HR to revoke the suspension and act against the supervisor, but the HR officials refused. Negotiations were ongoing, but meanwhile the HR officials, as is common, brought in 'bouncers' (thugs) to intimidate the Union members. Hearing this, the gathered workers entered the factory. When the thugs attacked with sharp weapons and arms, the workers retaliated. In the ensuing mayhem, the HR department caught fire – and it was that fire that claimed the life of the HR manager.

Clearly, it is not just the khap panchayats that are a sign of stubborn feudal remnants in Haryana's industrial semi-urban belt. The use of casteist slurs to discipline workers in a prestigious Japanese collaboration automobile factory is yet another such sign. Compounding this state of affairs, is the fact of blatant, open, violations of Contract Labour and other labour laws; and the total denial of industrial democracy, whereby thugs are routinely called in to deal with any instances of collective bargaining or Union negotiation. Unless some modicum of democracy and dignity can be guaranteed to the workers in India's industries, the tragedies of Pricol, Graziano, and Maruti will keep being repeated. 

The AICCTU called for a countrywide protest day on 19 July in solidarity with the Maruti workers. A protest demonstration was held at Jantar Mantar, which was addressed by AICCTU General Secretary Swapan Mukherjee as well as AICCTU leaders from Delhi. In Tamilnadu, AICCTU released a poster on 19 July demanding unconditional release of arrested workers and a stop to further arrests. Over 500 Pricol workers staged a demonstration at the factory gate on 19 July demanding release of the workers and a high level judicial enquiry into the issue. They also demanded that the factory be opened immediately. A demonstration was held in Ambattur on 20 July, in which over 175 workers participated. Comrade S Kumarasami, PBM of CPI(ML) and AICCTU All India President addressed the gathering.

AIPWA Protests Violence on Women in UP

 AIPWA held protests in several districts against the mob sexual assault on a schoolgirl in Guwahati and on the khap panchayat diktat curbing women's rights in Baghpat district of UP.

At Varanasi, AIPWA organized a protest march against the Guwahati mob assault, in which university students and teachers as well as human rights activists wore black badges and demanded prosecution of all those responsible for the assault and demanding resignation of the Assam Chief Minister. AIPWA also observed that the NCW had displayed the worst insensitivity during its visit to Assam, and demanded that representatives of women's organizations and the women's movement should find a place in the NCW rather than ruling party nominees. The protest was led by AIPWA National Executive member Kusum Verma.   

AIPWA burnt the effigy of khap panchayats in the state capital, Lucknow, to protest against the recent diktat announced by a khap panchayat in Baghpat, banning women from wearing jeans, using mobile phones, going to the market alone or having love marriages. AIPWA Vice President Tahira Hasan led the protest.   

At Patwara village of Paliya Kalan block of Lakhimpur district, a local thug Paramjit Singh (who owns a liquor factory and is an agent of the ruling party) held a 45-year-old woman captive in his house, beat her up, stripped her naked, put spice powder in her private parts and threw her on the streets. The police had not even registered an FIR. Hearing of the news from the media, an AIPWA team led by District President Arti Rai met the victim and organized women in her support in the village. AIPWA organized a protest demonstration at Paliya block, in which 200 women from the village participated, demanding the immediate arrest of Paramjit Singh, and protection and compensation for the victim. The protestors also submitted a memorandum to the President against the incidents at Guwahati and Baghpat. AIPWA leaders Arti Rai, Sudha Singh, Mala Singh, and others participated in the protest.

AIPWA units of Devaria and Gorakhpur, led by Geeta Pandey and Jagdamba respectively, also submitted memoranda to the President against the incidents at Guwahati and Baghpat.

AICCTU Workshop in Tamil Nadu

TN AICCTU held a State Council cum workshop in Chennai on 21 – 22 July. Preparations started a few months back. The topics taken up in the workshop are as follows:

1.       a) wage labor and capital; b) value, price, profit

2.       What is to be done?

3.       Discussions on tactics.

4.       Presentations of Papers for different sectors and a general paper on future work.

On the first topic some 35 questions were formulated and circulated through Orumaipadu (Tamil Solidarity magazine). On 'What is to be done?' A separate note was circulated with crucial extracts from 'What is to be done?' and other writings of Lenin. An article on how to grasp 'What is to be done?' was also circulated. On the fourth subject, papers were presented on construction labor, migrant labor, beedi, power loom work and contract labor. The state conference report's concluding part of tasks and challenges were taken up as the general paper. Since a popular booklet on the issues of trainees was published with 5000 copies, there was no separate paper on that subject.

The state council cum workshop was presided over by comrades S.Jawahar, N.K.Natarajan, T.Sankarapandian, A.S.Kumar, Bhuvana. The meeting was inaugurated by Balasundaram, Secretary, TN CPIML. S.Kumarasami, AICCTU National President was also present and spoke on the first, second and fourth topics.

Jawahar presented the first topic and initiated the discussions. N.K.Natarajan presented the second topic. Gurusami, a Pricol worker leader captivated the house with his rousing presentation of different tactics at different situations. Paper on construction was presented by Desikan, on contract labor by Eraniappan, on beedi by Sankarapandian, on power loom by Govindaraj, on migrant labor by Sekar and the general paper was presented by A.S.Kumar.

Teams from MRF, defence, electricity board, TN civil supplies corporation, co-optex and representatives from beedi, power loom, construction, migrant labor and employees from Pricol, Government Press, TI Diamond Chain, Hyundai, Onload gears, Gymkhana club, Kanchi Kamakoti Hospitals and other factories and organization in Chennai participated. There was a constant participation of 120 and a varying participation of 80.

2 comrades from Karnataka AICCTU attended the meeting. Balasubramaniam AICCTU National Secretary from Puducherry, also spoke in the meeting.

The meeting resolved to take up a campaign from August 15 on working class issues in the form of padayatras which will culminate in the CPIML jail bharao program on August 31. For this purpose in all districts a general body meeting will be held on August 15.

The meeting also resolved to launch a big campaign demanding the convening of a special session of the Assembly to discuss working class issues by the end of this year or in early 2013. In this campaign a signature campaign and two yatras from Kanyakumari and Coimbatore may be clubbed. All comrades felt that this meeting will be a stepping stone for AICCTU's next round of progress in the state.


Inauguration of Charu Bhawan

[Central Office, CPI(ML)]

Installation of Bust of Comrade Charu Mazumdar

28 July 2012

And Book Release:

Charu Mazumdar: The Man and His Legacy


U-90 Shakarpur, Delhi-92

1 pm onwards

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: 22518248, e-mail:, website:

Thursday, July 19, 2012

ML Update 30 / 2012

ML Update
A CPI(ML) Weekly News Magazine
Vol.  15    No. 30    17 - 23 JUL 2012

Fresh Relevance and Urgency of the Struggle for Justice for Bathani Tola

16 years after the Bathani Tola massacre, the struggle for justice for Bathani Tola, far from being forgotten, has reemerged with fresh relevance and urgency in a new phase. Bathani Tola has once again emerged as a rallying cry against injustice, not only in Bihar, but all over the country. In the dalit movement too, Bathani Tola is, this time around, triggering a questioning about the role and silence of the 'official' dalit and social justice parties, and a renewed alertness about the politics involved in feudal massacres.        
On 11 July, the 16th anniversary of the Bathani Tola massacre, the CPI(ML) held a formidable 'Nyay Rally' at Ara. The massive gathering challenged the rampant double standards and injustice, and bias towards communal and feudal forces, being witnessed in Nitish Kumar's rule. Soon after, concerned citizens from across the country organized a Convention in Delhi on 15 July demanding justice for Bathani Tola. Eminent figures from across the world petitioned the Supreme Court to ensure justice for Bathani Tola.
The growing campaign for justice for Bathani Tola victims in Bihar and across the country forced the Bihar government to appeal to the Supreme Court against the Patna HC verdict acquitting all the 23 persons who had earlier been pronounced guilty by the Ara court. It is worth recalling that initially, Ministers and BJP-JD(U) leaders as well as Brahmeshwar Singh himself had warned against appealing the HC verdict. Backed by the CPI(ML) and the Citizens for Justice for Bathani Tola, the victims had also appealed to the Supreme Court. On 16 July the Supreme Court admitted the appeals filed by the Bihar Government and the Bathani massacre survivors, and ordered that the hearing be expedited. This welcome development is the result of ongoing struggle for justice in Bihar and the democratic voices from across the world that came out in support of Bathani Tola's survivors.
Contrary to the claims of the Nitish Government and its apologists, feudal and casteist violence is in no way a thing of the past in Bihar. This is underlined by the way supporters of Brahmeshwar Singh vented their fury on the day of his killing (June 1) by arson and attacks on dalit hostels in Ara, with the collusion and inaction of the police and administration. More than a month and a half later, while the Bihar Government has not lifted a finger towards punishing the culprits and ensuring justice, compensation, and security for the students of these hostels, the Bihar SC/ST Commission Chairperson accompanied by media-persons, made a much-belated visit to the hostel on 12 July. Infuriated students smeared his face with black and garlanded him with their footwear that was burnt in the arson of June 1, demanding an answer for the Bihar Government's inaction and injustice. A string of cases have promptly been slapped on the students.   
Data released by the National Crime Records Bureau recently, also indicate that crimes against dalits have risen in Nitish's rule while justice has gone further out of reach. NCRB's data shows that Bihar witnessed the highest number of caste-based crimes in the country in 2011. With 3,024 cases under SC/ST Act, Bihar accounted for 26.7% of total such crimes in the country, leaving behind even states like UP, Rajasthan, and Andhra Pradesh, which are notorious for crimes against dalits.
Not only are atrocities against dalits on the rise in Bihar, Bihar's rate of charge-sheeting cases and conviction are also the worst in the country. Bihar's rate of charge-sheeting cases under the Atrocities Act stands at 82.2%, below the national average of 90.7%. All other states known for caste violence have scored better than Bihar with MP and Rajasthan scoring over 99%. Bihar also has the lowest rate of conviction under the Atrocities Act: a mere 10.6% (far below the national average of 31.9%).It is impossible to deny the correlation between the rising strength of the BJP in Bihar, and the pro-feudal character of the JD(U)-BJP Government, and the rise in crimes against dalits in Bihar.
The JD(U)-BJP Government has proved its fondness for feudal forces on many occasions. The disbanding of the Amir Das commission; refusal to implement recommendations for land reform of the Bandyopadhyaya commission; allowing bail for Brahmeshwar Singh; allowing Ranveer Sena supporters to rampage freely and attack dalit students after Brahmeshwar Singh's killing; acquittal of all accused in the Bathani Tola case – all these incidents have emboldened the feudal forces in Nitish Kumar's rule. The anti-Muslim communal bias of the Bihar government has also been exposed glaringly in a series of recent developments, especially in the 3 June, 2011 Forbesganj firing and the ongoing anti-Muslim witch-hunt in Darbhanga.
The state-backed feudal-communal offensive must be resisted and democracy in Bihar must be saved from being trampled underfoot as in other BJP-ruled states like Gujarat and Chhattisgarh. The reassuring ray of hope against this dark feudal-communal design lies in the response evoked by the CPI(ML)-led Nyay Andolan (movement for justice) in Bihar and the growing support and solidarity for Bathani Tola victims across the country. Let us stand by Bathani Tola and the fighting people of Bihar with all our might.
Citizens' Convention for Bathani Tola
 The Citizens for Bathani Tola held a Convention at Speaker's Hall, Constitution Club in the national capital on 15 July, demanding 'Justice for Bathani Tola 1996 – Punish the Guilty'.
The Convention began with a short documentary on the Bathani Tola survivor's struggle for justice by young filmmakers Kundan and Suman was screened, which transported the viewers to Bathani Tola and brought them face to face with the survivors' anguish and determination to fight. This was followed by a moving rendering of a Bhojpuri song – 'Kahe goliya chalavle' (Why do you shoot us, oppressive soldier?) by Chintu Kumari. 
The Convention was addressed by Bathani Tola massacre survivors Sri Kishun Choudhury and Naeemuddin Ansari, who also bore witness during the trial. Nayeemuddin Ansari said Bathani Tola was targeted for daring to fight feudal forces and support revolutionary forces. He asked why it was that a CBI enquiry was ordered promptly into Brahmeshwar's killing – yet the same Brahmeshwar who led the Bathani massacre was never brought to trial. 'My 3-month-old daughter was flung in the air like a ball and cut with a sword – yet the High Court let the killers go,' he said. 'The Court says we couldn't have hidden and witnessed the killings. But that's what happened – we men went and hid, thinking it was us the mob wanted to kill. We never dreamt they would kill the women and children.'     
Shivprakash Ranjan, and Shabbir, residents of Ambedkar Kalyan Hostel at Katira, which is near Ara's Veer Kunwar Singh University, recounted the attack on their hostel by Brahmeshwar's supporters following his killing. The hostel and belongings like cycles were set on fire, students were beaten, slogans like 'AK-47 Zindabad', 'AK-56 Zindabad,' 'A 100 lives to avenge the death of one' and 'Ranveer Sena Zindabad' raised. They spoke of their ongoing struggle for justice and compensation, that they were conducting with AISA's help.
They described how dalit students continue to face intimidation. On 12 July some drunken youths came and uttered threats at the hostel. The same evening, when the head of the State SC/ST Commission came to visit the hostel, accompanied by the same JD(U) youth and student wing leaders involved in the attacks, he faced the rage of the students. The students vented their anger at the Government's inaction, protection of perpetrators, and hypocrisy by blackening the face of the SC/ST Commission chief, and garlanding him with the same burnt chappals and shoes that continue to lie strewn around the hostel. The students have a string of cases against them, while the assailants are yet to face any charges! 
Prof. Tulsi Ram spoke of the casteist tenets of criminal justice in the Manusmriti, and said that the same approach continues to persist even in modern times.
Prof. Kamal Chenoy of JNU reminded that Bathani Tola was not just a caste massacre – it was a massacre that sought to punish supporters of the CPI(ML) Liberation.
Prof. Nandini Sundar pointed out that Ranveer Sena and Salwa Judum are examples of a "public private partnership", wherein governments and private militias conveniently collude with each other. The "public" governments wash their hands off responsibility, claiming that "private" bodies do the massacres, while the private militias continue killing people in the confidence that governments will never take any action on them. She also pointed out that the Bathani Tola massacre is essentially political elimination of those who pose a political and ideological opposition to feudal forces. 
Justice Rajinder Sachar recalled his visits to Bihar to investigate the Arwal massacre and massacres by feudal armies, and promised PUCL's help in the legal struggle for justice from the Supreme Court.   
Activist Vineet Tiwary presented a fact-finding report on the Amausi massacre of Bihar; pointing out that in the Amausi case, 10 mahadalits had been sentenced to death on very flimsy grounds. Very different standards of justice prevail depending on whether the accused belong to the upper caste Ranveer Sena or to the poorest mahadalit community. Comrade Simpson, an activist from Tamil Nadu's Odukapattor Viduthalai Munnani, spoke about the Paramakudi massacre of dalits in police firing last year. His own brother Panneerselvan (age 45) was killed in the firing. He spoke of the caste bias of the Jayalalithaa government towards dalits, and the difficulties in ensuring punishment for the police personnel who indulged in the massacre of dalits who had gathered to commemorate the martyrdom of dalit icon Immanuel Sekaran.
Tarique Anwar from Darbhanga, whose brother Nadeem Akhtar is being victimized on false charges of terrorism also addressed the Convention. He voiced his protest against the injustice meted out by Central agencies, Central Government, as well as the Bihar Government's refusal to protect the rights of migrant Muslim youth.
Vikas from Ramgarh in UP recounted the struggle against grab of dalit land and assault on dalits in his village. 
Comrade Rameshwar Prasad, CC member of CPI(ML), spoke of the context in which the Bathani massacre took place – soon after he and Comrade Ram Naresh Ram were elected as MLAs from Sandesh and Sahar in 1995. pointed out how at every stage the poorest and socially oppressed sections had to fight. the bathani killings were retribution by a private militia unable to take in the electoral assertion of the poorest people who were engaged in the struggle for land and dignity.
Summing up the discussion, historian Uma Chakravarti who chaired the first session, recalled the demand for a 'uniform civil code' – and observed that the country was yet to have even a uniform criminal code, since different norms for different classes and castes of people. She contrasted the 'AK-47s' that figured in the feudal slogans with the cycles that were burnt by them: saying that cycles were the symbols of the quest for mobility and education of poor dalit youth. She stressed the need to confront the State – including the judiciary – on the question of justice. Commenting on Nitish Kumar's claims of opposing Narendra Modi, she said he would do better to address the question of his own alliance with Bihar's Modi (Sushil Modi, deputy CM from the BJP), and leave the job of fighting Narendra Modi to the committed anti-communal voices.             
The second session began with a poem by people's poet Vidrohi. Speakers in this session included senior journalist Anil Chamaria and Chittaranjan Singh of PUCL, as well as leaders of AILC; this session was chaired by Prof. Manager Pandey.
Addressing the Convention, Lal Nishan Party (Leninist) Secretary Bhimrao Bansode from Maharashtra spoke of about the Khairlanji massacre and other similar massacres across the country, in which the struggle for justice continued in spite of the fact that courts, as a rule, meted out injustice.
Mangat Ram Pasla, Secretary, CPM Punjab, expressed solidarity with the struggle of Bathani survivors for justice. Castigating the Nitish Government for promoting injustice and patronizing feudal forces, he called for a struggle to ensure that perpetrators of all the Ranveer Sena massacres were brought to book.
Dipankar Bhattacharya, General Secretary, CPI(ML) Liberation, said that the Bathani Tola massacre was perpetrated by the Ranveer Sena and patronized by the Laloo regime as well as the BJP, in order to wipe out the CPI(ML). Instead, the result has been quite different. The Ranveer Sena did not survive, and Bathani-I (the massacre in 1996) spelt the beginning of the end of the Laloo regime, and now, in 2012, the judicial massacre (Bathani-II) is spelling the beginning of the end of Nitish's rule.            
The Convention was also attended by Satya Sivaraman, columnist Praful Bidwai, and journalist Rahul Pandita, poet Manglesh Dabral, writer Rajni Tilak, academicians Nivedita Menon, G Ajay, Tripta Wahi, Anuradha Chenoy, Sanghmitra Mishra, Ashok Chowdhury and Roma of National Forest Workers' Union, and several other concerned citizens, as well as students and teachers from various universities in Delhi. A poster and a badge dedicated to justice for Bathani Tola were designed by artist Ashok Bhowmick for the campaign. 
The Convention was a timely one: the very next day, the Supreme Court was to hear the appeals filed against the HC verdict. The hearing the next day was attended by Justice Sachar of the PUCL. The Bathani survivors were represented by senior advocate P S  Narasimha. The Supreme Court Bench of Justice Altamas Kabir and Justice Chalameswar admitted the appeal, asked for notices of the same to be served to the acquitted accused "as quickly as possible," and for "original (Trial Court) records (to) be requisitioned and steps should be taken to obtain the same, as early as possible, in view of the facts of the case."
Resolutions passed by Convention for Justice for Bathani Tola
The Convention demands:

1.    Justice for the victims of Bathani Tola and other massacres committed by Ranveer Sena between 1996-2002, and punishment for all the guilty. This Convention holds that it is the judiciary that must prove its impartiality before the people. If it deems necessary, the Supreme Court should order reinvestigation of the Bathani Tola and other massacre cases. If not, it should give credence to eyewitness accounts and punish the guilty.
2.    Prosecute the police for sabotaging evidence, failure to collect evidence against the accused, and for deposing in favour of the accused in the Bathani Tola case.
3.    Provide full protection including the means for self-defence to the witnesses in the Bathani Tola, Bathe and other massacre cases of Bihar.
4.    Prosecute those responsible for the attack on dalit hostels at Ara; ensure compensation for the students; and take back the cases slapped on the students of the dalit hostels.
5.    Reinvestigate the Amausi massacre case and punish the real culprits.
6.    Set up a national tribunal to investigate and monitor cases of arrests of Muslim youth in terror-related cases, to ensure that unjust arrests, custodial torture, indefinite incarceration, etc are firmly stopped and punished. Stop the witch-hunt of minority youth.
7.    Ensure prosecution of those police personnel guilty of the Paramakudi firing and the attack on dalits at Ramgarh in Greater Noida. Ensure the demolition of the illegal wall surrounding dalits' homestead land in Ramgarh.
8.    Supreme Court must uphold the conviction of the guilty in the Khairlanji case and ensure that the perpetrators are also prosecuted under the SC/ST Atrocities Act.
9.    This Convention supports the campaign for justice in Bihar and demands CBI enquiry into the Forbesganj firing, murders of Bhaiyyaram Yadav, and Chhotu Kushwaha.
10.    This convention demands release of Seema Azad and Vishwavijay, the PUCL activists unjustly sentenced for life in Allahabad recently, and supports the struggle for justice for them. 

Rally for Justice in Ara

A massive 'Nyay Rally' was held at Ramna Maidan, Ara (Bihar) on 11 July 2012, the anniversary of Bathani Tola massacre. This was attended by thousands of people from all over Bihar. The rally was a culmination of month-long Nyay Yatra organised throughout the state to demand justice for Bathani Tola. Comrade Dipankar Bhattacharya, General Secretary of CPI(ML) said, while addressing the rally that when 21 people were brutally massacred sixteen years ago in Bathani Tola to silence the rising voices of asserting poor and toiling people of Bihar, the determination to fight for the democracy and justice became stronger and more resolute.
He said that while the Laloo regime was responsible for the massacre, now it is Nitish Govt. which has perpetrated a judicial massacre with those victims. The government which attained power with promises for dalits, minorities, backwards, first bailed out Ranvir Sena Chief who was responsible for dozens of mass massacres and then maneuvered the acquittal of all the accused of Bathani Tola massacre. The CPI(ML) cannot rely on such a government and hence has approached the Supreme Court for justice, and now under the pressure of the movement the Bihar Govt. too has been forced to go to the SC. Party has full confidence in the struggles of the people of Bihar for democracy and justice.
Comrade Dipankar further added that people of Bihar are aware of Laloo Yadav's nexus with the feudal forces at the when a series of massacres were organised, and today people are witness to Nitish regime's maneuverings with the same forces. The ruling party MLAs are said to be involved in Bhayyaram Yadav and Chhotu Kushwaha's murders. When people were protesting Chhotu Kushwaha's killing on 2 May, police brutally targeted them, did not spare women and children. The Superintendent of Police beat up popular CPI(ML) leader and former MLA Rajaram Singh with his own hands, but the same government remained silent when arson and vandalism was going on in Patna on 2 June at the funeral procession of Ranvir Sena chief. He said it will never be possible to make another Gujarat in Bihar, thanks to the resolute determination and spirit of the people of Bihar. Be it the freedom struggle or the anti-feudal peasant struggle, Bhojpur was the land of heroes like Vir Kunwar Singh, Jagdish Mahto and Ram Naresh Ram. And it was that fighting spirit that would prevail.   
The district secretary of AIALA, Com. Siddhanath Ram, presided over the rally, which was conducted by AIALA General Secretary Dhirendra Jha. A message from Comrade Rajaram Singh, incarcerated in Aurangabad jail, was read out. RJD supporter Laldev Yadav, also incarcerated with Comrade Rajaram during the agitation against Chhotu Kushwaha's murder, sent a message to the rally, saying that he had been arrested when he attended the mass meeting under CPI(ML)'s banner when his own party's supporters had deserted the agitation. He said that the fighting spirit of the jailed comrades was very high, and aspired for the warmth and support of the rallyists at Ara.
The rally was addressed by Comrade Sudama Prasad, Chhotu Mukhiya's father-in-law Umesh Kushwaha, Bhaiyyaram Yadav's wife Usha Yadav, Bathani massacre survivor Nayeemuddin Ansari, Nayyar Fatmi who spoke of the Forbesganj firing, and Kanchan Bala who is associated with the 1974 movement and citizens' struggles, Saroj Choubey of AIPWA, CPI(ML) CCMs Rameshwar Prasad and KD Yadav.
CPI(ML) PBMs Swadesh Bhattacharya, Ramjatan Sharma, Amar, Ramji Rai, CCMs Brij Bihari Pandey, Kavita Krishnan, Rajaram, and Bihar State Secretary Kunal were also present at the rally.
A set of political resolutions were adopted by the Rally.  
Victory for Contract Workers of PGI Chandigarh
Same work and same pay has been a long pending demand of the contract workers of India. Though the CLARA 1970 clearly mentions it as a legal right of the workmen but the managements of not only the private but also the govt. departments have always shown a tendency of posing the private entrepreneur's question- "then what is the use of contracting out or outsourcing if we are still to pay the same wages as those to a regular employee?"  
The PGI contract workers are in a little better position because due the nature of their job and the pressure of the union, the workmen are not changed at every change of contractor. So we may easily find workers who have been working in PGI for more than 15 years. Due to this advantage, the workers got a chance to fight a legal battle and win a formal order by the deputy CL C (C) under the section 25 c 2 of CLARA 1970, in their favor on 11-1-2010. Till then the workers union of the PGI had a vision of getting the things done by depending only upon the legal channels. This is the reason why this legal victory could not deliver anything tangible to the workers.
Interestingly the CLARA 1970 states that there is no appellate authority for challenging the decision. Is this a pro-worker measure? Not for workers who lose the legal battle! This was more clearly shown in case of the PGI contract workers as despite the absence of appellate authority the management commissioned Pb.& Hr. High court. They sought stay on the implementation of the order on a pretext that the contractor must bear the burden of the increased wages. No stay was granted on the implementation but the PGI management got a reason to call the matter "subjudice". Why should a govt./ publicly funded body think on these lines despite the clear cut orders? It only means that our public Institutions are being managed by the people who have corporate brains, who take care that they should not set any precedence which is difficult for the corporate world to follow.
Ever since the PGI contract workers' union got the affiliation with AICCTU, we have worked to educate the workers and leadership about the loopholes in the legal apparatus and emphasized on the need for building a struggle to mount pressure on the management. During this we ensured that the union be democratized and new workers be incorporated to the leadership. Formal elections by the secret ballot were held last year. The new elected leadership took up a campaign to build agitation for getting demands met. Many low intensity struggles were fought over various day to day issues like firing of workmen, closing of changing rooms, late payment of salaries etc. during this it was sensed that workers are in a mood to struggle instead of waiting for the courts to deliver.
As soon as the PGI management announced the lavish celebrations for the golden jubilee of PGI, it came as salt on the burns received by the workmen of PGI. It was also learnt that Montek Singh Ahlouwalia, the deputy chairman of planning commission, Union Minister Ambika Soni, Pawan Bansal, Union Health Minister Gulam Nabi Azad may attend the big event being planned by the PGI Management. AICCTU and the union leadership sensed the mood of the workmen. After detailed thought it was decided that from 1st july the workers will start wearing black badges as a mark of protest as well as a warning to the management, and from 5th july, the union will go on an indefinite strike. It was also decided that on this big opportunity, the management must not be given any safe passage of many big and small demands, rather only two demands be placed: 1. Regularize all contract workers who have worked for more than 5 years. 2. Implement the orders of CLC awarding Same Pay for Same work.
We knew that the management would like to accept many long pending but simpler demands but the workers were ready to fight tough and bear the heat. The simpler demands were like allowing the cafeteria facility to the contractual staff, allowing of free cycle stand, implementation of DC rates on the sanitary attendants as implemented earlier on other categories of workmen.
On 3rd  july the management conveyed through the labor welfare officer that the demand of DC rate to SA, cafeteria and cycle stand have been implemented by the management with immediate  effect.
There was a danger that this declaration may divide the workmen of SA and HA categories, as DC rate was a major long pending demand of SA category. But the workers were more aware of this than we expected. Still, in order to maintain the initiative in our hands, we responded through a leaflet guiding the workmen about the shady designs of the management. At the same time, we welcomed the decision and declared that a gesture in response to a gesture is that we will limit our strike to evening of 7th july. By this we also corrected a probable mistake in our earlier declaration. The Union leadership had written the strike as 'indefinite' in the strike notice, whereas the AICCTU leadership realized this mistake though the notice of strike was already given by then. So now, when the management had initiated a move to break our unity and seize initiative from our hands, we got a chance to set things in our favor.
The strike started at 6am on 5th july. It was complete. The total contract employees were off the duty. The large gathering was addressed among others by Com. Swapan Mukherji, Com. Kanwaljeet, com. Sanjeev, com. Sukhdev  (president and gen. sec. of PGI union), amidst heavy rains and police deployment. The administration wanted the workers to leave the PGI premises and sit in Rally Ground but we bluntly refused. On the same day a delegation of AICCTU National leadership under the leadership of Com Rajiv Dimri placed a written representation before the Chief labor commissioner and the union Health Minister. The union Health minister was also urged not to attend the Golden Jublee Celebration at Chandigarh as a protest against the anti worker attitude of the management.
On the evening of 5th july, the management applied the threat tactics by circulating a notice to the contractors ordering to remove the contractual employees and deploy new employees by 8pm. The workers paid no heed to this threat. On the other hand, at the intervention of CLC, a conciliation meeting was scheduled for 6th july.
On 6th July after two long rounds of negotiation the management finally bowed and reversed its earlier stand of treating the matter as 'subjudice' and  made a written agreement committing to implement the orders regarding 'same pay for same work'.  With this we took back the strike on a victorious note.
Though the actual implementation of this victory may be still a few months away and may have other complications. The standing finance committee has to make the budgetary clearances. The case will be put by PGI before the SFC in its meeting scheduled on 27th july 2012.
Protest Against Death of 7 Anganwadi Children in Odisha
CPI ML), AIPWA, AICCTU, and Rajdhani Rikshwa Cooli Sangha and Rajdhani Basti Basinda Mahasangha protested in front of Odisha assembly against the death of 7 children at Aganwadi center at Nayagarh district, demanding more compensation to the families of the children, construction of 50,000 aganwadi centres at the earliest, dismantling of all broken houses where centres are currently running. The protest rally was led by Mahendra Parida, Bhubaneswar city secretary of CPI(ML), Radhakant Sethi, Upendra Sahoo, Janaki Rao and Seema Sethi and AIPWA President Sanjukuta Panigrahi. The protestors demanded resignation of the Naveen Government, and submitted a memorandum to the Chief Secretary of Odisha.
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, July 12, 2012

ML Update 29 / 2012

ML Update

A CPI(ML) Weekly News Magazine
Vol.  15            No. 29                                                                    10 - 16 JUL 2012

Massacre of Adivasis in Bastar:

Operation Green Hunt Must Be Scrapped And

Chidambaram Must Resign 

On June 28 night, 17 people of adivasi villages of Bastar (Chhattisgarh) were killed in firing by CRPF, COBRA, and local police teams.  

This horrific incident, and the State's response to it, has served to rip the mask off 'Operation Green Hunt', and expose it irrevocably as an open war on the people. Nothing exposes the 'Green Hunt' lie more than the changing official versions of the incident. 

The day after the massacre, the Chhattisgarh Government hailed it as the 'biggest encounter of Naxals', claiming that '17 Naxals' had been killed. The Home Minister P Chidambaram too held a press conference to claim that the 'encounter' was a major 'success' in the operation against Maoists. The official version was that the security forces were heading for a different spot, following intelligence reports of a major Maoist meeting, when they were fired upon en route, and retaliated, resulting in the deaths.    

Some journalists reported the villagers' version – that the security forces fired unprovoked on a village meeting, and that all those killed were villagers, including many children. This version was also corroborated by the Chhattisgarh's Congress leaders, and the Union Minister for Tribal Affairs, KC Deo. The Chhattisgarh Government declared this to be a lie, and its leaders were seen on TV channels listing the names of the '17 Naxalites' who had been killed, and denying the presence of any villagers or children among the dead.        

 Subsequently, incontrovertible evidence emerged that 7 of those killed were children and teenagers. Then, the Chhattisgarh Government changed its tune, and said that the Maoists had used villagers and children as a 'human shield.' P Chidambaram had previously referred to one of the victims, 'Rahul' as an 'important Naxal'; it emerged that 'Rahul' was actually a 15-year-old schoolboy, who used to reside in the Government hostel near the CRPF camp, and was bright at mathematics. Chidambaram now said he was 'sorry' if any innocent citizens were killed.

However, both Chhattisgarh Government and the Home Ministry continued to claim that most of those killed were 'wanted Naxals'. It is clear from the investigative reports of journalists and civil liberties' groups, that there were no Maoist leaders amongst those killed. There were a few who had flimsy cases against them, of 'firing on police parties', and one who had escaped jail during the Dantewada jail break. But all these had been living in the village with their families openly, and their behavior in no way suggested they had anything to hide.           

The Chhattisgarh Government and Home Ministry have given ever-changing versions of the number of 'Naxals' killed in the 'encounter' – ranging from '17' to 'five or six' to 'seven' to 'two'. 

Finally, hard-pressed to prove any 'Nexal' records of those killed, the Chhattisgarh CM has declared that even those without criminal records cannot be said to be 'innocent' villagers. He argues that ordinary villagers, with neither Maoist uniforms nor weapons nor criminal records were 'Jan Militia' recruited by the Maoists. In other words, the 'Jan Militia' theory allows the State to brand all the 'jan' (people) as Maoists – without any proof whatsoever!    

While the official versions, increasingly desperate to cover up the gory massacre, have shifted and changed and contradicted each other daily, the villagers' story has remained constant. They were holding a meeting related to their village sowing festival, when the security forces attacked. The firing went on for hours, killing unarmed and innocent villagers, including children. Several teenage girls were molested and beaten. And one young man who escaped the firing, was shot in the back the next morning as he tried to run towards the safety of his house – and when he did not die from the bullets, he was beaten to death with bricks. 

These villagers had been forced to flee in 2005 when the Salwa Judum evacuated the villages. Only recently, they had returned and begun to pick up the threads of their life. The massacre has again proved that 'Operation Green Hunt' is a war on these adivasis for the evacuation of land in order to facilitate corporate loot.

In spite of the fact that the official versions have been mutually contradictory and changing according to convenience, and the villagers' version has been consistent, the State and Central Governments are shameless in their refusal to order a convincing and impartial judicial probe. The State Government has ordered a judicial probe by a sitting judge of the Chhattisgarh High Court. The experience of the Binayak Sen trial, however, is a reminder that a probe within Chhattisgarh carries a high likelihood of bias.

A high-level judicial probe, conducted by judges based outside of Chhattisgarh, is a mandatory first step in the direction of establishing the truth about this massacre. And the Home Minister responsible for shamelessly defending this heinous massacre of adivasis, and even branding a child as a 'wanted Naxal' in a willful attempt to silence questions about the encounter, must resign. And the infamous Green Hunt operation, which is a war on adivasis, must be scrapped without delay.      

Fact-finding on the Kottaguda massacre
28 June 2012

(A three member team, consisting of JP Rao, Kopa Kunjam and Prof. Nandini Sundar of Delhi University visited Kottaguda, Sarkeguda and Lingagiri villages of Bastar on 3rd and 4th July 2012. We carry excerpts from their findings as well as a statement by villagers.)

The three villages merge into each other and have been carved up in an arbitrary fashion between different panchayats (Korsaguda and Chipurbhatti panchayats). The field where the firing took place is an open area surrounded by houses, some of which are in Kottaguda and some of which fall in Rajpenta. The villagers had returned only in 2009 after Salwa Judum had burnt their village in 2005, and are still struggling to put their cattle together and rebuild all houses properly. The meeting on the 28th night was held to discuss how to help those without cattle and single women headed households, and also to plan the holding of the bija pondum (seed sowing festival). The three villages share a common earth shrine – which means they celebrate all their festivals together. 

The villagers say that there were no Maoists present, and that the police were most likely injured in cross-firing. The absence of any Maoist leaders is supported by the fact that had there been a squad in the village, there would have been sentries posted in the direction of Basaguda thana.

Whatever the CRPF's claims, what is indisputable is that they knew they were in the middle of a village and yet did not use night flares or observe even the most basic precautions when firing. In all 17 persons have been killed, of which 7 are minors; 9 have been injured, and at least 5 women have been beaten/assaulted. One cow has died and one bull has been injured, and there are bullet marks on the houses.  Two people were killed by Salwa Judum and security forces in 2005, and almost all the houses in all three villages were burnt.

What is shocking is not just the massacre itself but the cover up that followed with the CRPF and Home Minister claiming that they had shot top Naxal leaders, when they could clearly see that they had killed villagers including small children, since 16 of the bodies were sent back that night. The CRPF version also does not explain why one person was killed in the morning.

We met Mr. Kuruvanshi, the SDM appointed to investigate the incident. He seemed amused at our visit, and asked why the villagers were meeting at night. When asked, he also said he had no plans to visit the village, and if the villagers wished, they could come and see him. Subsequently, the villagers have been summoned to his office on the 9th of July.  

We are enclosing a statement signed by family members of each of the deceased, three of the girls beaten/molested and other witnesses from the village.

JP Rao, Kopa Kunjam,
Nandini Sundar

4th July 2012

Village Kottaguda, Thana Basaguda, Zilla Bijapur

Statement by families of victims

On 28th June 2012, we were having a meeting in Kottaguda of three villages – Rajpenta, Kottaguda and Sarkeguda – to discuss the upcoming seed sowing festival and also how to help those families without cattle and those households headed by widows. Since we were busy ploughing and repairing our houses during the day, we decided to have the meeting in the evening. We three villages share a common earth shrine.

The meeting started around 8 pm. Around 9-10 pm, the CRPF, SPOs and police came and surrounded us from all sides and started firing without warning. It lasted one hour. Sixteen people were shot and killed at night and also axed. Their bodies were taken away at night. The force camped in the grounds all night. Three girls who were taking shelter in a house at the edge of the meeting ground were pulled out, their hair pulled, beaten and assaulted and threatened with rape. 5 injured persons were also taken away at night. Madkam Shanti and Kaka Sarika were also beaten.

In the morning, Irpa Munna s/o Raju, age 27 approximately was killed when he came out of his house. When he did not fully die he was bludgeoned to death with bricks. His body was taken away in the morning along with two more injured.

Irpa Dinesh s/o Raju who has four small children was shown as a Naxalite commander, Somlu, from Korsaguda. His body was not returned to the village.

They also stole Rs. 2000 from Madkam Nagesh's house, Rs. 5000 from Irpa Raju's house and Rs. 30,000 from Irpa Narayan's house. They also took Madkam Dilip's mobile and Apka Meetu's cycle.

In the morning we all villagers went to the Basaguda thana but we were not allowed in; nor did any police come out. They had taken the injured and also arrested some 25 others. The bodies, except for Irpa Dinesh's, were returned on 29th evening and we cremated them the next day. Dinesh's body is buried in the PS.

Our villages have suffered terribly under Salwa Judum. All 30 houses were burnt in Kottaguda in 2005, 10 out of 12 houses were burnt in Rajpenta, and 27 out of 30 houses were burnt in Sarkeguda. Two people were killed by Salwa Judum and police. Korsa Bhima s/o Korsa Dora, age 15 was taken from Sarkeguda village in 2005 and killed in the thana. Madkam Balla, s/o Dula, age 35, was killed in Basaguda thana when he had gone to buy nails for house building. There has been no FIR and no compensation. We all ran away to Andhra Pradesh and returned in 2009.

We were just getting back to normal life when the CRPF attacked us again.

AISA Welcomes
SFI-JNU's Decision to Oppose CPI(M) Stands on Pranab, TPC, Singur-Nandigram 

The JNU unit of the Student's Federation of India (SFI) decided at a general body meeting held on the night of July 5th, to oppose CPI(M)'s support for UPA's Finance Minister in the upcoming presidential polls. The resolution passed on July 5 by SFI's JNU unit states that CPI(M)'s position is "unconvincing" and "not in the best interests of the left and democratic movement" (see

In a subsequent leaflet, the SFI-JNU also distanced itself from the stances of the CPI(M) on the murder of comrade TP Chandrasekharan, and also land acquisition and repression at Singur-Nandigram.

AISA welcomed the stand taken by the SFI-JNU. Earlier, AISA had also welcomed the resignation of the former SFI leader Prasenjit Bose from the CPI(M). AISA pointed out that "Left and democratic student opinion has time and again debated and overwhelmingly rejected SFI's support of CPI(M)'s indefensible decisions: whether it is the forcible land acquisition and state repression in Singur and Nandigram, CPI(M)'s support for UPA's anti-people legislations like the SEZ Act, or the CPI(M)'s dilly-dallying on the issue of the Indo-US nuke deal, or CPI(M)'s support for the draconian AFSPA. The SFI's JNU unit's refusal to defend CPI(M)'s support for Pranab Mukherjee, which is a welcome departure from its norm, is to be seen in this light."

AISA also observed, "Going by the CPI(M)'s track record of elimination of Comrade TP Chandrasekharan, expulsion of Prasenjit Bose, restraining of Abdur Rezzak Mollah from joining the March to Singur recently, and rejection and ridicule of VS Achuthanandan's solidarity with TP Chandrasekharan's party and family, and ignoring of the constructive criticism of intellectuals like Prabhat Patnaik and Ashok Mitra, it is clear that the CPI(M) has, time and again, responded with contempt for any inner-party struggle against right deviation. It remains to be seen whether the SFI as an all-India organisation, and the CPI(M) party, take heed of this realisation and ferment in its unit in a leading Left campus of this country."

Subsequently, the SFI All India leadership dissolved the SFI JNU Unit, and expelled four SFI leaders who are from JNU, from primary membership of SFI. The SFI-JNU have said that they will continue to function as SFI-JNU. Their statement says, "The decision to expel 4 SFI Delhi State Committee members from JNU because the SFI-JNU Unit has taken a collective decision on a political issue, smacks of an authoritarian, undemocratic and vindictive attitude. The All-India leadership seems to be under the misconception that by targeting a few individuals they will be able to browbeat the entire unit and divert attention from the relevant political issues... SFI-JNU Unit will carry forward the legacy of Study and Struggle and continue to function in the name of SFI-JNU and retain its adherence to the SFI Programme and Constitution. It is the All-India leadership of the SFI who have acted against the SFI Programme and Constitution. We appeal to SFI Units across the country, SFI State committees and SFI CEC members to register their protest against such violations and reverse the undemocratic decisions." 

Explaining why SFI-JNU held a GBM to decide its stand on support for Pranab, the SFI-JNU leaflet said, "In the past few weeks the SFI came under severe attack from ultra-Left organizations like the AISA over this issue. Students were asking about SFI's position and we could not afford to remain silent."

The same leaflet observed that SFI in JNU had failed to win a single office bearer's post in 2007 and 2012 JNUSU elections, and that political reasons, "primarily those related to Singur-Nandigram and the general state of the Left movement in the country," were responsible for this. SFI-JNU held that "In a left leaning political campus like JNU, these developments have eroded the SFI's support base among the progressive and democratic minded students. The developments since 2007 have made the SFI vulnerable to attacks of 'double-speak'" by AISA which "gained at SFI's cost."

The SFI-JNU leaflet also held, "The interests of the SFI-JNU are intrinsically linked to these political issues. Neither can SFI-JNU defend unconvincing political decisions in public like support for Pranab Mukherjee in Presidential elections nor can it remain silent on acts like the recent murder of RMP leader TP Chandrasekharan in Kerala. Several CPI (M) functionaries have been arrested in the case so far, while investigations continue. The outrageous statement made by a CPI (M) leader M.M.Mani has only made matters worse. This has become a major political issue in Kerala as well as JNU. The SFI-JNU has taken a principled position on the issue and demanded action against the guilty irrespective of political affiliations. The all-India leadership of the SFI has not adopted any stand on these issues till date."

Thanks to AISA's intervention, political debate in a Left-leaning campus of JNU has sharply rejected any apologia for CPI(M)'s right-revisionist tendencies. This in turn has resulted in the realisation by the SFI-JNU comrades, that CPI(M)'s positions on a range of issues are indefensible among progressive and Left-minded sections of society. 



15 July

Speaker's Hall,

Constitution Club,

New Delhi

12 Noon – 6 pm

To be addressed by Bathani massacre survivors, Ara students whose hostels were attacked after Brahmeshwar Singh's killing, as well as a range of jurists, intellectuals, and activists

Organised by

Citizens for Justice for Bathani Tola

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: 22518248, e-mail:, website: