Thursday, November 29, 2012

ML Update 49 / 2012

ML Update

A CPI(ML) Weekly News Magazine

Vol. 15, No. 49, 27 NOV – 03 DEC 2012

The Challenge of Change


 the year of exposes, is now nearing its end. The stream of scams being exposed since 2010 flew into a veritable sea in 2012 as skeletons tumbled out of every cupboard in the corridors of power. The relentless unearthing of scams coupled with unmasking of political figures and families has revealed an ominous picture of an ever-expanding nexus between corporate power and political power which has popularly come to be known as the business-politics nexus. Capitalism in India remains mired in the murky depths of cronyism, and democracy is fast getting reduced to what can only be called a corporatocracy – government of the corporates, for the corporates, by the corporates. The Radia tape in which the richest Indian capitalist calls the oldest ruling party of India 'aapni dukaan' (own shop) revealed it most glaringly.

The competitive revelations have left both the Congress and the BJP, the two largest ruling parties heading two contending coalitions, almost at par. Scams are a great leveller – the Congress and the BJP both stand exposed as 'dukaans' (shops) doing brisk business in the name of ruling the country or different states. The business-politics nexus no longer means collaboration between business and politics, but increasingly the conversion of politics into business, convergence and coalescence of the two in the crucible of power. The Vadra-DLF deals and the operations of Gadkari's Purti group of companies give us an idea of the intricate ways in which political influence is converted into corporate wealth. They also tell us how business bonhomie transcends the political divide. Thus BJP President Gadkari's 'social entrepreneurship' thrives in Congress-ruled Maharashtra just as the Jindals of the Congress stable in Haryana merrily expand their business empire in BJP-ruled Jharkhand.

The revelations have thus clearly determined the agenda for a national political alternative. Corruption must be checked, and to combat corruption the expanding business-politics nexus must be reined in. The resources of the country must be saved from corporate plunder, placed under public control and utilised judiciously to fulfil the urgent needs of the people. Development must be defined not in terms of an abstract growth in GDP, but in terms of removal of poverty and answering the basic needs of the common people. The budgetary priorities must be reformulated to ensure a massive hike in public investment in agriculture, education and public health. And foreign investment, institutional as well as direct, must be subjected to strict regulation and made subservient to the goals of self-reliant, sustainable and people-oriented development.

The parties of the ruling classes are scary of the prospects of crystallisation of such a national agenda and popular mobilisation insisting on its implementation. Desperate attempts have therefore begun to rubbish the corruption charges and mislead the people. The Congress has launched a vigorous campaign to discredit the CAG by contrasting the figures of the latest 2G spectrum auction (about Rs 9,000 crore) to the estimates made by the CAG of the loss inflicted on the national exchequer because of the UPA-I's act of free distribution of spectrum on the basis of a dubious 'first-come-first-served' policy. Can an auction held in 2012 in the backdrop of a global recession for an almost saturated 2G market be compared to an auction that could have been held four years ago when a euphoric India Inc and their global partners were dying for grabbing a share in a rapidly growing cellphone market in the world's second most populous country? Yet the Congress believes it can rubbish the CAG and get itself absolved in the eyes of the people of the unprecedented corruption it has been charged with!

The other point on which the Congress seems determined to stick its neck out is the issue of inviting FDI in multi-brand retail. The party, that always tries to bask in the glory of the freedom movement, went to the extent of holding a public rally in support of FDI in retail, trying to sell the crisis-ridden Indian farmers and inflation-hit market-ravaged Indian consumers a deceptive dream of FDI-induced prosperity. Buoyed by the renewed victory of Barack Obama in US Presidential poll and his "India-is-a-big-part-of-my-plan" assurance to Manmohan Singh, the Congress that had earlier put the issue of FDI in retail on hold pending a national consensus now calls it a policy 'cast in stone' and dares the Indian people to try and oppose it! And to wriggle out of a possible showdown and defeat on the floor of Parliament on the issue of FDI, in a secretive way the UPA government enacted the execution of Mohammad Ajmal Amir Kasab just a day before the winter session of Parliament was scheduled to begin.

If the Congress believes it can silence the people by citing the hanging of Kasab, the BJP has already begun to raise a shrill demand for the execution of Afzal Guru, the Kashmiri who has been convicted in the December 13, 2001 attack on Parliament case on the basis of insufficient and questionable evidence. Narendra Modi, who is engaged in a high-tech electioneering extravaganza trying to come back to power for the third time in a row, has been quick to call for a speedy hanging of Afzal Guru. In Mumbai, the communal cousins of the BJP, the Shiv Sainiks, have demonstrated their readiness to keep alive the legacy of Bal Thackeray, the Hindutva advocate who openly admired and likened himself to Hitler, by shutting down Mumbai after Thackeray's demise and vandalising the clinic of a doctor whose niece had posted a comment on Facebook to question the Mumbai shutdown. And the Mumbai police, dancing as usual to the tune of the SS, went to the extent of arresting Shaheen Dhada who posted the comment, and her friend Renu Srinivasan who liked it, accusing them of hurting the religious sentiment of others!

The contours of the impending battle are thus emerging quite clearly. The Congress and the BJP are once again unleashing an agenda of competitive communalism and jingoism to divert the attention of the people and prevent them from delivering a powerful mandate against the disastrous course of neo-liberalism. The people will have to fight back on both fronts and build a political alternative that rejects both neo-liberalism and communal jingoism and firmly upholds the banner of secularism, democracy and people's welfare. The powerful assembly of tens of thousands of brave and fighting people in CPI(ML)'s "Parivartan Rally" in Patna on November 9, radiated the energy and enthusiasm for securing precisely such a meaningful change in the coming days. Defying the arrogance and conspiracies of the rulers, let us move on in bold and united steps.

Party's 1st Chandigarh District Conference

The First District conference of CPI(ML) Liberation's Chandigarh unit was held on 18/11/2012. A total of 53 delegates were present in the first conference, of whom seven were women. Comrade Gurjant Singh was the observer from Party State Committee. The conference was inaugurated by Comrade Gurmeet Bakhtpura. Most of the members in Chandigarh Party branch are contract workers working at various places and also few students and youth. District Secretary Comrade Kanwaljit presented the report. New 15 member committee was elected, of whom 3 are women and Comrade Kanwaljit is elected as District Secretary.

Protest in Puducherry against Attacks on Dalits in Dharmapuri

In the aftermath of the caste violence in Dharmapuri district of northern Tamil Nadu, thousands of Dalits have been rendered homeless and living in constant fear of another possible attack. On 7 November, a mob of 2,500 backward-caste Vanniyars had burnt and looted around 500 houses of Dalits, claiming to avenge the death of a Vanniyar who committed suicide after his daughter married a Dalit. Adding to the fear is a statement by Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) MLA Kaduvetti Guru, who heads the Vanniyar Sangam, forbidding inter-caste marriages. Locals and even the police officials posted in the area say the attack was premeditated and done with the connivance of pro-Vanniyar sections of the police and cadres of the PMK. Between 5 pm and 10 pm on 7 November, every single house of the three hamlets of Nathamkottai, Kondampatti and Annanagar was burnt down.

A massive protest demonstration was organised by the rural committee of CPI(ML) Puducherry District on 20th November 2012 demanding probe by a sitting High Court Judge about the loot and arson unleashed on dalit villages.

The demonstration was led by Comrade P Murugan, Rural Committee Secretary. The demonstration was largely participated by rural women and Trade Union activists. Com. S. Balasubramanian, State Secretary CPI(ML), CPI(ML) Puducherry District Secretary G Palani, AICCTU Vice President P Sankaran, CPI(ML) Urban Committee Secretary S Motilal, N M Tamilmani, Classical Tamil Movement, R V Lenin, Human Rights and Consumer Protection Society G Sugumaran, Peoples Rights Committee spoke among the demonstrators.

The demonstrators demanded the Tamilnadu Chief Minister: (1) Immediate arrest and interrogation of J Guru, a PMK leader who instigated violence through his virulent speech at a public meeting, (2) Invoke the provisions of the Scheduled Caste and the Scheduled Tribes (prevention of Atrocities) Act 1989 and arrest the perpetrators of violence including the district revenue and police officers, (3) Confiscate the properties of the perpetrators and suitably compensate the victims, (4) Immediately construct shelters/temporary dwelling places for the families that lost their houses, (5) Issue duplicate documents such as ration cards, NRGES Job cards, property documents, educational certificates etc. that were burnt in arson, to all.

National Conference of Construction Workers

2nd National Conference of All India Construction Workers Federation (AICWF) affiliated to the All India Central Council of Trade Unions (AICCTU) was held at the Ram Leela Maidan in Delhi on 26th November and Rally on 27th at Jantar Mantar with the central slogan of fight for "Better Wages and Labour Dignity, Regular Employment and Social Security".

Delegates from several states including Bihar, West Bengal, Assam, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, Delhi, Punjab, Tamilnadu, Karnataka and Pondicherry gathered with impressive participation of women comrades, to attend the Conference. The Conference elected seven-member presidium including Comrades Bala Subramanium (Pondicherry), S K Sharma (Bihar) P P Upanna (Karnataka), Gurmeet Singh (Punjab), Kishor Sarkar (W Bengal), Babulal (UP) and Mahesh (Rajasthan). A minute's silence was observed to remember the martyrs followed by the inaugural address by AICCTU General Secretary Comrade Swapan Mukherjee. Comrade R N Thakur placed the report for further enrichment and discussion. He summed up the achievements and challenges and experiences of struggles and initiatives after the first conference, especially, how the federation evolved with its national character. The conference furthered the 10 point main demand including uniform rules at national level, Rs. 500/day minimum wages, Rs.3000 minimum pension. Speakers from all states participated in debates. The Conference elected Com Bala Subramanium as President, Comrade S K Sharma as General Secretary, Comrade R N Thakur as Organizational Secretary including 9 vice presidents, 9 secretaries and 46 member Executive Committee.

On 27 of November thousands of construction workers marched towards the Parliament and held a demonstration at Jantar Mantar. Later a 10 point memorandum was submitted to the labour minister. Newly elected national leaders of AICWF and Comrade Swapan addressed the rally. Following are the main demands: (i) Rs. 500/- per day minimum wage and minimum Rs. 3000/- per month old age pension to all workers, with addition of VDA, (ii) Residential (Workers') Colonies in city areas and plot of land for house in rural/town areas for construction workers, (iii) Free registration and period of renewal to be increased from one to 5yrs. The process of registration in welfare board should be made easier, and the present central Act for construction workers along with other labour laws must be implemented strictly. To do away with state-wise differences and variations in the rules, the central government should frame common rules on national basis basing which the state governments should frame their rules, (iv) Construction Workers should be brought under E.P.F and E.S.I Scheme, (v) All Construction Workers to be included in BPL lists, (vii) Inter state Migrant labour Act must be followed strictly and a National commission on the lines of "SC-ST Commission" must be constituted for Construction Workers, (viii) Un-organised Workers' social security Act must be immediately implemented in all the States and State level Boards to be constituted for them and Central and State govts. must allocate appropriate fund for the Board, (ix) Sand Workers to be brought under the Construction Workers rules, (x) Stop gender discrimination against women construction workers, strictly implement "equal payment for similar work"

AISA's Initiatives in Uttarakhand

Pithoragarh: After winning the President's post in students' union election recently, All India Students' Association called for a day long college bandh to highlight the plight of students and educational facilities. Issues such as vacant teaching posts, unavailability of drinking water in college premises, corruption in campus, cheap cooking fuel and rations for outstation students figured prominently during the bandh. ABVP tried to disrupt and create chaos during the bandh meeting by bursting crackers. A memorandum was handed over to the DM by 50 students on bandh day.

Rudrapur: A dharna was held at the DM's office against extremely difficult conditions set for being eligible for unemployment allowance, announced by the State Govt. AISA demanded for removal of such irrational terms and to lower the age for unemployment allowance to 22 years. When the Govt went ahead with its pre-set terms and gave allowances on 9th November only on its own terms, AISA held protests on 10th November and burnt CM's effigy at Pithoragarh and on 11th November in Rudrapur. Memorandums were sent to the CM from AISA units of Srinagar and Gopeshwar.

Bal Thackeray's Legacy Spells Doom, While Shaheen's Courage Holds Out Hope

The events that followed the death of Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray raise questions about the health of India's democracy. Thackeray – whose political career of four and a half decades was one of calculated hate-mongering, and who built the Shiv Sena around an agenda of vicious communal and regional-chauvinist violence, was given an official state funeral by the Maharashtra Government. He was wrapped in the national tricolour, and received a 12-gun salute. The President of India praised his work for the 'ordinary man', and the Prime Minister, likewise, praised him for his efforts on behalf of Maharashtra. A few days before Thackeray's death, Digvijaya Singh, the designated propagandist for Congress's secular posturing, said Thackeray was a "fighter" all his life and would also "fight" his illness. Laloo and Nitish alike expressed grief at the passing of the Bihar—basher. In death, therefore, Bal Thackeray achieved the success of having his brand of fascist politics endorsed in precisely the terms he sought – as equivalent with 'nationalism' and Maharashtra's pride. His funeral was a virtual Who's Who of film and cricket stars.

The Congress government of the late 1960s promoted Thackeray and the Shiv Sena as an (ultimately successful) ploy to destabilise and decimate Mumbai's powerful working class movement. The Shiv Sena made its political debut in 1967 by burning down the CPI's legendary Girni Kamgar Union office, followed by the assassination of popular Trade Union leader and CPI's sitting MLA Krishna Desai in 1970. Thackeray congratulated the Sainiks for that assassination, declaring that it should serve as a warning to the 'Lal Bhais' (Red Comrades). In the by-election that followed, the Shiv Sena defeated the CPI, and elected the first-ever Shiv Sena MLA. So, the first targets of the Shiv Sena's bloody campaign of fascist terror were the Red unions and working class militancy. The Shiv Sena, which began life as the Congress' muscle against the working class, then emerged as a force in its own right.

It was a time when the mighty mills of Mumbai were being closed down, to pave the way for a textile industry dominated by private corporate players like Dhirubai Ambani. The Shiv Sena, having waged war on and defeated the Left-led trade union movement with the backing of the Congress Government, then proceeded to divide the working class by mobilising Marathi workers on a son-of-the-soil plank against the migrant workers. The Shiv Sena tested out its son-of-the-soil plank with violent attacks on Kannadiga workers in 1969. (It is ironic that today, the BJP and Sangh Parivar are trying to recreate the same Shiv Sena type of son-of-the-soil politics in Karnataka, mobilising Kannadiga workers against the other migrants!)

The Marathi manoos political plank resonated mainly in the metropolis of Mumbai. The Shiv Sena acquired a wider base only when it adopted a virulent communal politics masquerading as nationalism, targeting the Muslim minority. Thackeray made no secret of his admiration for Hitler's fascist politics. The crowds at Thackeray's funeral indicated the hegemony his brand of fascist politics achieved in Mumbai: a hegemony that has destroyed the life-spirit of the city that once called upon people from all over the whole country to sing 'Ye hai Bombay meri jaan' (This is Bombay my love).

The corporate media, top TV anchors and print columnists, all abandoned any measure of rational or honest assessment, valorising Thackeray as a Marathi and Hindu hero. A story released by ANI said, "Social issues such as immigration and communalism were of particular interest to him in the context of national well being and welfare". So, the communal pogrom of Mumbai 1992-93, and organised violence against migrants, have been sanitised to become innocuous sounding "social issues of immigration and communalism" and examples of "national well being and welfare"!

But the media's rosy remix of Thackeray's legacy got a jarring reality check. A young woman, 21-year-old Shaheed Dhada, dared to declare that the Emperor wore no clothes. In a post on Facebook, she said "With all respect, every day, thousands of people die, but still the world moves on. Just due to one politician died a natural death, everyone just goes bonkers. They should know, we are resilient by force, not by choice. When was the last time, did anyone showed some respect or even a two-minute silence for Shaheed Bhagat Singh, Azad, Sukhdev or any of the people because of whom we are free-living Indians? Respect is earned, given, and definitely not forced. Today, Mumbai shuts down due to fear, not due to respect." Her friend Renu 'liked' the post. Within half an hour the police (in a Congress-ruled state!) were at her door, and both young women were arrested, to be released later on bail. A Shiv Sena mob vandalised Shaheen's uncle's dental clinic. The fact that Shaheen is a Muslim who dared to express a critical opinion of Thackeray's funeral was enough to mark her as a fit target for Shiv Sena's reign of terror.

Congress governments and their police never arrested Thackeray (or his nephew Raj Thackeray) for publicly spouting vitriol and whipping up violence against Muslims and Biharis. But a Congress government rushed to arrest two 21-year-old women for expressing an opinion!

Following a national uproar, the Congress Governments at the Centre and in Maharashtra have promised to punish police officers responsible for the arrest. But even as the Maharashtra Government had to retreat from the arrest with embarrassment, senior Congress leaders like Harish Rawat and Abhishek Manu Singhvi, instead of apologising for this outrageous assault on civil liberties which befits a totalitarian state rather than the 'world's largest democracy', advised people to be 'careful and cautious' about what they say and when, on an occasion of the death of a man of Thackeray's 'stature'!

Yet again, the 'secular' Congress, the much-vaunted Indian free media, and other proud democratic institutions have given us little cause for hope, in the face of the fascist brand of politics. But the ray of hope does come from young Shaheen and Renu – whose courage exposed the real content of Thackeray's legacy, and forced the media and ruling class to change the discourse surrounding Thackeray's death.

Reports from Chhattisgarh

The GM of Ore Handling Plant at Bhilai Steel Plant was gheraoed by more than hundred workers for non-payment of 'daily reward'. The workers were led by the Centre of Steel Workers General Secretary Rajendra Pargniha. Gherao lasted half an hour after the management assured to address the demand within a week's time.

Joint Convention of Trade Unions in Raipur

The joint platform of TUs held a Convention on 4th November in Raipur in which more than 800 people participated. AICCTU's National Secretary Comrade Brijendra Tiwari was in the presidium of the Convention. Comrade Bhim Rao Bagde addressed on behalf of the AICCTU. The Convention took a decision for 'jail bharo' on 18-19 December in the District and Raipur respectively. The Convention also appealed for making the two-day national strike of 20-21 February 2013 a grand success.


Comrade M L Dronkar: Comrade M L Dronkar, died at the age of 82 in a road accident while crossing a road on 29th October. He passed away the following day in Bhilai Hospital. He was a worker in Bhilai Steel Plant in 1959-60. He lost his job for being active in communist movement. He left CPI(M) in 1996 and joined CPI(ML) the same year. He always participated in Party activities and advocated Left unity. A meeting was held in Bhilai to pay tributes to him. He is survived by his wife, five children and his entire Party comrades.



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:

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

ML Update 48 / 2012

ML Update
A CPI(ML) Weekly News Magazine

Vol.  15      No. 48                                          20-26 NOV 2012

 Protest Israel's US-Backed War on Gaza

Yet again, Israel has unleashed war on Gaza, without provocation, and in defiance of all international norms. Israel's claim that theirs is a defensive war, to thwart rocket fire on part of Hamas, is patently false. Nearly 100 Palestinian civilians have been killed and 400 injured, and Israel has been bombarding densely-packed civilian settlements as well as target media centres. Among the Palestinian dead are two babies, less than a year old. 

Belying Israel's claims, the unequal and one-sided nature of the war can be gauged from the fact that just four Israeli civilians have been killed and 30 injured in Hamas attacks. The sophisticated weapons deployed by Israel are in stark contrast to the primitive rockets used by the Hamas. The assassination of Ahmed Jaabari, the head of the military wing of Hamas, seems to have been aimed at scuttling ongoing truce talks.   

Repeating a pattern from four years ago, this attack on Gaza comes after a US Presidential election and before an election in Israel. The motive of reaping an electoral harvest from a war on Palestine is rather obvious. Israeli citizens have reportedly put out ads in papers declaring 'No to the election war.'

The newly re-elected US President Obama has supported Israel's war in the name of its 'right to self-defence,' as has the EU. Yet again, the US and EU have supported Israeli war crimes, reinforcing Israel's sense of impunity.

Israel's latest war on Gaza may also be part of its preparation to launch a war on Iran. By attacking Gaza, it seeks to test the Arab waters, to see the impact of the Arab Spring on countries like Egypt. So far, Egypt's new leadership has behaved much in line with its predecessor, the Mubarak regime. Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi has recalled Egypt's ambassador to Israel (which Mukarak had also done four years ago), but has avoided breaking off relations with Israel. Reportedly, Morsi called Obama, only to be told by Obama to control Hamas. 

A former CIA analyst has revealed how Washington think-tanks, echoing Israeli ideologues, refer lightly to periodic attacks on Palestinians, as 'mowing the lawn.' This kind of racial discourse reveals that Israel's occupation and wars on Palestine ultimately have the genocidal motive of ethnic-cleansing.   

The Indian Government, shamefully betraying India's long-term solidarity with Palestine, has chosen to remain neutral and call for peace, without outright condemning Israeli aggression. The Indian people, however, have responded all over the country with solidarity actions for Gaza, demanding an end to Israel's war and a principled stand by the Indian Government.  

Israel's war on Gaza is a war on humanity, and Palestine's struggle is a courageous struggle for liberation from colonial occupation. Anti-imperialist forces the world over must protest Israel's war on Gaza, and support the Palestinians' aspirations for freedom. 

Shiv Sena Goons Waste No Time in Re-enacting Thackeray's Legacy 

(AISA Statement)

Immediately after Bal Thackeray's death in Mumbai following a long illness, Shiv Sena indulged in orchestrated violence and hooliganism after a young Muslim girl in Mumbai made a simple comment on how public life in Mumbai was paralysed during his funeral.

Following Thackeray's death and his funeral conducted with full state honours by the state government, the whole of Mumbai came to a standstill, with several shops shutting down and public transport being severely affected. After this, a 21-year old woman living in Mumbai, Shaheen Dhada, commented through a Facebook post, saying, "With all respect, every day, thousands of people die, but still the world moves on. Just due to one politician died a natural death, everyone just goes bonkers. They should know, we are resilient by force, not by choice. When was the last time, did anyone showed some respect or even a two-minute silence for Shaheed Bhagat Singh, Azad, Sukhdev or any of the people because of whom we are free-living Indians? Respect is earned, given, and definitely not forced. Today, Mumbai shuts down due to fear, not due to respect." One of her friends "liked" the comment. What followed was absurd – and highlighted just how weak our democracy is, and how vulnerable to muscle-flexing by the right-wing.

Shiv Sena has said Thackeray has "left a huge legacy" – and soon after has been showing us what exactly this "legacy" is all about:

      21-year old Shaheen and her friend Renu were arrested by the Mumbai police (based on a complaint by the Shiv Sena) under 505 (2) for making statements "creating or promoting enmity, hatred or ill will". They were remanded to 14-day judicial custody and finally released from custody only after they paid bail.

      Shaheen's uncle, Dr. Abdul Yusuf Dhada, runs a clinic in Palaghar, Mumbai and today Shiv Sena goons ransacked the clinic, broke furniture and other infrastructure in the clinic and forced all the patients to move out. Even though complaints have been filed with the Mumbai Police, no action has been taken on the 40 Shiv Sena goons who orchestrated this violence in full public view.

 The attacks by the Shiv Sena, are, of course, in the good old Shiv Sena tradition of intimidation and violence. But these are compounded by the attitude of the Mumbai police – which has obediently carried out the Shiv Sena's diktats and arrested two young women for expressing an opinion on a social networking site!

What is equally shameful is the attitude of the Maharashtra government. Balasaheb Thackeray, who was once disenfranchised by the Election Commission for six years for making communally provocative speeches, who presided over hate- and violence-filled campaigns against poor labourers and workers in Mumbai, was accorded full state honours in his funeral. Even various leaders of the so-called "secular" Congress – including the Prime Minister of the country – have been busy trying to sanitise the actions of Thackeray and the mayhem he wrought over several decades. During the last phase of Thackeray's illness, Digvijaya Singh, propagandist for Congress's 'secularism,' on Friday said Thackeray was a "fighter" all his life and will also "fight" his illness. Of course Digvijaya Singh never mentioned what exactly Thackeray "fought" for all his life!

The corporate media was not to be left behind in this game of creating a halo around Thackeray. Take for instance a report released by the ANI which says, "Social issues such as immigration and communalism were of particular interest to him in the context of national well being and welfare". So, the Mumbai riots of 1992-93, the repeated, organised, vicious assaults on south Indians, workers from UP and Bihar and Muslims in Mumbai have become innocuous sounding "social issues of immigration and communalism" and examples of "national well being and welfare"!

Such statements go way beyond expressing condolences on the death of a well-known political leader. In fact, they effectively help to rewrite history, and make communal hate mongering and orchestrated violence appear as "acceptable" political practice. They give a message to rabid saffron forces that law will never touch majoritarian communal politics – the shriller the better.

AISA condemns the arrest of Shaheen and Renu simply for posting comments on Facebook and the subsequent Sena-orchestrated violence and hooliganism in Mumbai. AISA also condemns the craven role of the Congress government and the Mumbai police in Maharashtra, which has capitulated in service of the Shiv Sena goons. But after all, what better can one expect from the Congress-NCP government which never acted on the Shri Krishna Commission Report that squarely indicts Thackeray for  the horrific Mumbai riots of 1992-93, and which more recently agreed to removing Rohinton Mistry's book from the Mumbai Univ. syllabus!

We all need to robustly resist all such shameful assaults on democracy, and speak out against the overdrive of the corporate media, the saffron brigade of RSS, BJP, Shiv Sena, MNS, as well as the slew of Congress leaders and the state machinery to valorise purveyors of communal hate mongering and violence.

Protest at Israeli Embassy Against War on Gaza

On 19 November, hundreds of students, workers, teachers and many others, raised slogans at the Israeli Embassy in New Delhi today, protesting Israel's assault on civilians in Gaza, and US support for this aggression. The protest demonstration had been called by All India Students' Association (AISA), Revolutionary Youth Association (RYA), the JNU Students' Union, All India Central Council of Trade Unions (AICCTU), Left and Democratic Teachers' Federation (LDTF), and All India Progressive Women's Association (AIPWA).

Protestors included Prof. Nivedita Menon, Prof. K M Chenoy, Prof. Susan Visvanathan, Prof Mohan Rao, Prof. Ayesha Kidwai of JNU, Prof Ashutosh Kumar of DU, Uma Gupta of LDTF, Santosh Rai of AICCTU, Sandeep Singh, President of AISA, Aslam Khan of RYA, JNUSU President Lenin Kumar, VP Meenakshi and Jt Secretary Piyush, and AISA leaders of JNU (Sucheta De, Om Prasad, Akbar), DU (Anmol) and Jamia Millia Islamia (Farhan).  

AICCTU observed "All-India Demand Day of contract workers" on 7th November

On the call of AICCTU "All-India Demand Day of contract workers" was observed on 7th November - Day of "November Revolution"- against the slavery of working class under the contract labour system in today's India by holding demonstrations, rallies, sit-ins (dharnas), etc. at state levels to bring issues of contract labour to the centre of working class movement. All-India Demand Day focused on demands, like Equal pay for same and similar work for contract/temporary workers, regularization of contract workers engaged in permanent/perennial jobs, an amendment to Section 10 of the CLARA to make contract labour permanent whenever contract labour is abolished in any employment, Fixation of national minimum wage as Rs. 15,000/- per month for all contract workers along with all unorganized workers and Pension as Rs. 7,500/- per month both linked with VDA, including the contract workers under PDS and BPL. These programmes called upon the contract workers to make the 20-21 Feb. 2013 all-India General Strike a great success.

The call of "All-India Demand Day of contract workers" was given in the national sit-in (Dharna) of contract workers at Jantar Mantar, Delhi on 11 October 2012.

In different states, the 15-point Charter of Demands of contract workers was propagated and submitted.

In Delhi, followed by a week long campaign, a rally was organized from Millennium Bus Depot to Delhi govt. Secretariat. Hundreds of contract workers mainly from Delhi Transport Corporation participated in the rally apart from security guards and workers of Wazirpur industrial area. The rally was led and addressed by AICCTU GS Swapan Mukherjee, State Secretary Santosh Roy, General Secretary of DTC Workers' Unity Centre Shankaran, Ardhendu Roy and others. A memorandum was also submitted by a 5-member delegation with Labour Minister of Delhi. 

In Tamil Nadu, AICCTU organized different kinds of programmes at 4 places in and around Chennai. In Ambattur, Kalyanapuram area , a Public meeting was organized. Pamphlets containing demands were distributed to contract labours of various industries and sectors residing in this locality. About 100 contract workers gathered to attend the meeting. AICCTU leaders Palanivel, Mohan and Munusamy addressed the meeting.

There is a union of permanent employees of Kanji Kamakodi Trust Hospital in Chennai affiliated to AIICCTU. At the initiative of the union, contract employees - mostly women of the hospital were organised and a meeting held. Meeting was addressed among others by Thenmozhi, state Vice President of AICCCTU and also an AIPWA leader and Kuppa Bai.

Meeting was held in Jumbo pack Industry in adjoining Thiruvellore district where AICCTU is the negotiating union for permanent workers. This industry employs more than 700 contract workers. Pamphlets were issued to all contract workers. More than 300 contract workers enthusiastically participated in the meeting addressed by leaders A.S. Kumar, Janakiraman and others.

At Sriperumpudur, workers of striking Hyundai company took the initiative and went for a campaign on charter of demands of contract workers which culminated in a public meeting. More than 100 workers of various MNCs in this area attended the meeting addressed by Rajaguru of Hyundai and AICCTU leader Bhuvana.

Workers of the Ordnance Factory Tiruchi who were already on struggle demanding Deepavli Bonus, participated en-mass at the gate meeting addressed by leaders Desikan, Periasamy and others. Programmes were also organized at Coimbatore.

In Karnataka, AICCTU organized a demonstration at Bangalore. Workers carried placards of 10 point demands charter. The demonstration was led by Somu, district president of AICCTU. Appanna, state secretary came down heavily on the labour department of Karnataka where all rules and regulations under Contract Labour (Regulation and Abolition) Act (CLARA) are blatantly violated in issuing licences to the contractors. Puttegowda, district secretary condemned the government for issuing blanket licences without specifying the jobs and number of workers to be employed in each job. He pointed out growing contractualisation of labour force as a fall out of liberalization policy. Demonstrators were also addressed by Narayanaswamy, Mani, Veerakumar of Lafarge, Ethiraj and Durga Prasad of RDC, Anand of TAJSATS, Srinivas of Vinayaka CNC Centre.

Similar demonstration was also organized in front of the Labour Office at Gangavati led by Bharadwaj, state president. He questioned the labour department and the BJP state government for allowing hundreds of rice mills to run without complying to any labour law. The demonstrators also demanded ESI coverage for the district. The demonstration was also addressed by leaders Virupakshappa and Basavangouda, the newly elected state convenor of AICWF.

In Orissa, one day Dharna was held in front of Rajbhavan and memoranda were submitted addressed to the Governor, State Chief minister and Prime Minister of India.

The dharna was addressed by AICCTU leaders of state, N K Mohanty, Radhakant Sethi and Mahendra Parida.

Contract workers from NIRTAR, East Coast Railway and state government participated in this dharna. A delegation met with the Governor.

In Jharkhand, demonstrations and dharnas were held at 6 places, namely Dhanbad, Ranchi, Bokaro, Ramgarh, Koderma and Garwha with participation of around 1000 contract workers.

In Chandigarh, torch-light procession was held with participation of contract workers from hospitals and other institutions including PGI and was led by city president Kanwaljeet and others. In Mumbai, a day long dharna was held at Azad Maidan under the banner of Maharashtra Sarva Shramik Mahasangh (an affiliate of AICCTU) and Maharashtra Rajya Rakshak Agadhi. Hundreds of security guards participated in the dharna. Dharna was addressed by leaders of AICCTU, Uday Bhat, Dattatrya Atyalkar, Dhiraj Rathore, and Shyam Gohil , the state leader of CPI-ML.

In Bhilai, Chhattisgarh, a dharna was held with participation of contract workers of Municipal corporations of Bhilai and Kumhari and Bhilai Steel Plant. Dharna was addressed by J.P Nair, Manoj Kosre, Rupesh Kumar and Tukaram. Memorandum addressing Governor and CM of state were also submitted.

Construction Workers State Convention in Karnataka

AICCTU organised first ever state convention of construction workers at Gangavati on 28 Oct. 2012. The convention was preceded by very good press coverage highlighting demands of construction workers. Construction workers and activists responsible for the work from Koppal, Davanagere, Mysore, Tumkur and Bangalore attended the convention. Com. Shankar called upon workers to fight against big builders and contractors who are responsible for the plight of construction workers. He also said that the union should be alert against the wrong tendencies of reducing it to a mere reformistic organisation centring around welfare board. Com. Balasubramanian, president of AICWF elaborated on the demands of construction workers and called upon them to make success of the all India conference on 26-27 Dec. 2012 at Delhi. Com. Vittappa Gorentli, Basavaraj Silavander, AITUC, E Dhanraj, college lecturer addressed the convention while Appanna, state secretary presided over the convention. AICCTU state president Bharadwaj, CPI(ML) state secretary Ramappa and Javaraiah of AIALA also addressed the convention.

The convention elected a 7-member convening body at state level with Basavangouda and Chandru as convenors.

Condolences for Victims of Stampede During Chhat Puja in Patna

CPI(ML) condoles the tragic deaths of people in a stampede that occurred during the Chhat Puja in Patna.

According to news reports, the death toll is now 22, of which at least 10 are children. The injured are struggling for life in hospitals. The stampede probably occurred following the collapse of a bamboo bridge (chechri bridge) constructed to allow the Chhat devotees to avoid a stretch of muddy water. There are also reports that a power cut or falling of an electrical wire on devotees might have contributed to the panic and stampede. 

Whatever the cause of the stampede, it is clear that the sheer insensitivity of the administration and police, and abysmal condition of Bihar's medical institutions also contributed to the deaths. People complained that no one from the administration came forward to help, leaving people to take the injured to hospital on their own. Police, when called, did nothing to help. Eyewitnesses said the death toll could have been less had the administration been prepared and helpful. In the hospitals, Emergency wards had no doctors. According to news reports, two live babies were dumped among dead bodies in one hospital. People, frustrated and angered by the absence of governance and of medical care for their loved ones, tore posters of Deputy CM Sushil Modi.

CPI(ML) stands by the people of Bihar in this hour of grief and unbearable tragedy. CPI(ML) also demands that an independent enquiry panel be set up to investigate the cause of stampede and the state of the response by administration, police, and hospitals, and action be taken against those responsible for negligence. It is essential that this probe be independent of the Government of Bihar.

- CPI(ML) Central Committee

Thursday, November 15, 2012

ML Update 47 / 2012


A CPI(ML) Weekly News Magazine

Vol.  15               No. 47                                                                                                                         13-19 NOV 2012

Bihar Rebuffs NDA and UPA 

Rallies for Transformation and for a Powerful People's Alternative

The CPI(ML)'s massive Parivartan Rally on 9 November in Patna powerfully articulated people's aspirations for thoroughgoing social and political transformation and a people's political alternative in Bihar and in the country. The rally's slogan – 'Neither Delhi's Loot Nor Nitish's Lies – Unite for Change' – clearly struck a chord with Bihar's poorest and most oppressed, who turned Patna's Gandhi Maidan into a virtual sea of red flags with their enthusiastic participation.    

Many observers commented on the stark contrast between the people's Parivartan Rally and the 'official rally' by the ruling JD(U) just five days earlier. Nitish Kumar's show in the same Gandhi Maidan on 4 November had enjoyed the backing of the entire Government machinery. Misuse of government and administrative power to promote the rally was rampant, with district magistrates issuing official orders aimed at ensuring the participation of workers in the rally. Unimaginable amounts of money were spent on the JD(U) rally, including amounts raised and pocketed by JD(U) leaders in the name of the rally. 4 trains and 50,000 buses were booked to ferry people to the rally. 10000 policemen and 1000 magistrates swelled the crowds in the JD(U) rally. JD(U)'s mafia politicians Munna Shukla, Ranvir Yadav, Anant Singh, and Sunil Pandey flexed all their muscle to boost the rally. The success of the spectacle was supposed to be sealed with money, muscle and media power.

But at the Parivartan Rally five days later, the people of Bihar gave the rulers' rally a fitting rebuff, effectively cutting it down to size. The Parivartan Rally matched the size and strength of the rulers' rally without the help of money and government machinery, and outshining the sterile, mafia- and police-dominated official show by far in terms of the sheer energy, response, and discipline of the mass of participants.

Among the Parivartan Rally participants were the villagers of Bhajanpura (Forbesganj) where the police firing claimed 4 lives last year; dalit students from Ara; and victims of police lathicharge at Aurangabad and firing at Madhubani.

The Parivartan Rally gave voice to the enormous sense of betrayal and resentment felt by Bihar's poor against the hollow pro-poor and pro-rights posturing of the Nitish Government, which has only protected the privileges of the feudal and communal forces and patronised mafia politicians. If the Parivartan Rally called for a rebuff of Bihar's NDA Government, it also called the bluff of the kind of 'change' being touted by opposition leader Laloo Yadav. For one thing, Laloo's own 15-year rule in Bihar saw some of the worst scams and massacres of dalits. For another, Laloo today, along with Ram Vilas Paswan, is an arch defender of the corrupt and anti-people Congress regime at the Centre. Any promise of 'change' from such a quarter cannot command any credibility.

Leaders of the All India Left Coordination, Bihar Secretaries of CPI and CPI(M), and some socialist leaders also addressed the Parivartan Rally. The success of the Parivartan Rally pointed to the potential for a genuine third alternative – both in Bihar and in the country. Again, such a 'third alternative' cannot be a mere cobbling together of ideologically and politically compromised non-Congress non-BJP forces towards elections or power-sharing. Rather, the Rally asserted the need for and potential of a people's political alternative, emerging from people's movements for democracy.      

As the sea of red flags fluttered in Gandhi Maidan on 9 November, the winds of change could be felt blowing – not only for a people's assertion in Bihar but from Bihar towards the rest of the country.  

Massive Parivartan Rally

From all over Bihar, people from villages and towns poured into Patna from the night of 8th November itself, red flags and banners in hand. They had gathered in the state capital for CPI(ML)'s Parivartan Rally in Gandhi Maidan, Patna, on 9 November. With their strength of numbers, enthusiasm, and determination in spite of all the hardships of the journey, Bihar's poor were making a loud statement. They had stayed away from the Chief Minister's Adhikar Rally held  less than a week ago, and had gathered for 'Parivartan (transformation) instead.

At noon sharp, the Rally began with songs rendered in memory of the martyrs, by Hirawal and other cultural groups. A memorial for the martyrs had been erected near the dais – paying tribute to Bhaiyyaram Yadav, to those killed in police firing in Forbesganj and Madhubani, and to various other martyred and departed comrades. CPI(ML) General Secretary Dipankar Bhattacharya, politburo members of the CPI(ML) Swadesh Bhattacharya, DP Buxi, Nand Kishor Prasad, Ramji Rai, Kartick Pal, Amar and Ramjatan Sharma, various CCMs of the party, CPM Punjab Secretary Mangat Ram Pasla, CPRM leader and former Lok Sabha MP RB Rai, Bhimrao Bansod, Secretary, Lal Nishan Party (Leninist), and others paid floral tributes to the martyrs.

Bihar CPI(ML) Secretary Comrade Kunal welcomed all participants in the Rally. CPI(ML) CCM KD Yadav spoke on the theme of the Rally. On behalf of the Bihar State Committee, Comrade Arun conducted the proceedings. Addressing the Rally, Comrade Vinod Singh, CPI(ML) MLA in the Jharkhand Assembly called for an assertion of Left-led people's movements against corporate loot. JNU Students' Union General Secretary Shakeel Anjum, who hails from Araria district of Bihar, spoke about the dismal state of education and employment in Bihar, and about the growing communal politics in the Araria region and witch-hunt of Muslim youth in Darbhanga in the name of anti-terrorism. He called for students to defeat the communal forces and representatives of the anti-people Bihar and Central Governments in the forthcoming students union elections in Bihar. JNUSU Joint Secretary Piyush was also present on the dais. AILC leaders Comrade Bhimrao Bansod of LNP(L); Comrade RB Rai of CPRM; and Comrade Mangat Ram Pasla of CPM Punjab called for Bihar to show the way for a realignment and assertion of fighting Left forces. CPI State Secretary Rajendra Singh and CPIM State Secretary Vinay Kant Thakur called for Left unity and assertion of the issues of the people. Socialist leaders - former central Minister Devendra Yadav and former Bihar Minister Ramdev Singh Yadav castigated Nitish Kumar as well as former CM Laloo Yadav for betraying the socialist ideals and called for a unity of the fighting Left and genuine socialist forces. Veteran socialist leader Hind Kesri Yadav, former Bihar Minister and anti-liquor movement activist, recounted how Bihar police watched while liquor mafia brutally beat him up last month in Muzaffarpur. When he showed his wounds, agitated people rose up and raised slogans. AICCTU General Secretary Swapan Mukherjee called for the people of Bihar to support the all-India strike called by central TUs on 20-21 February 2013. AIPWA General Secretary Meena Tiwari said that just as massacres had become the hallmark of the Lalu-Rabri regime, gang rape and other assaults on women have become the hallmark of Nitish's rule. Rajaram Singh, GS of the All India Kisan Mahasabha, who had recently been severely beaten by police in Aurangabad and jailed for a prolonged period, said that the Nitish Government and the Central Govt were both promoting land grab in the name of development, while the Nitish Govt had appeased feudal forces by abandoning the question of land reforms. CPI(ML) CCM and former MP from Bihar, Rameshwar Prasad, and AIALA GS Dhirendra Jha also addressed the Rally.         

The main speaker at the Rally was CPI(ML) General Secretary Comrade Dipankar, who said that the countdown for the Nitish Government had begun. By jettisoning the Bandopadhyay recommendations, allowing Ranveer Sena supporters to go berserk, and by making mafia politicians like Sunil Pandey, Anant Singh, Munna Shukla and Ranvir Yadav the icons of his Government, the Nitish Government had clearly shown its loyalty towards feudal and criminal forces. In the name of 'sushasan', the Nitish Government was raining batons and bullets on protestors time and again. Commenting on the CM's visit to Pakistan, he said it was always welcome to promote goodwill between the neighbouring countries. But, he asked, would not the people of Pakistan ask the CM how come he speaks of secularism and harmony, but he teams up with the BJP and presides over the witch-hunt of Muslim youth falsely branded as 'Pakistan-backed terrorists'?

He reminded that Nitish Kumar, as a central Minister in 2000, had done nothing to support the demand for special category status for Bihar when the CPI(ML) first raised it.

He also commented on former CM Laloo Yadav who had also begun talking of 'Parivartan'. He said that Bihar had not forgotten Laloo's misrule, and leaders like Laloo and Ram Vilas Paswan cannot talk of 'change' while acting as lieutenants of the corrupt Congress regime at the centre. Comrade Dipankar called for a 'third alternative', but emphasised that such an alternative could not just be an opportunist realignment for the sake of power. It must in fact be an assertion of people's movements, with a radical, fighting Left at its core. Bihar, he said, had always shown the way – be it during the freedom struggle or the 1974 movement for democracy – and now again, it was time for Bihar to show how a vigorous Left movement could rejuvenate politics and pave the way for a people's political alternative. 

Rousing slogans and responsive applause greeted Comrade Dipankar's speech. At the end, AISA State Secretary Abhyuday read out an 8-point resolution, which included resolutions against the corruption, corporate plunder and pro-corporate anti-people policies of the UPA Government; against repression and feudal-communal politics promoted by the Nitish Government; demanding CBI enquiry into the murders of Bhaiyyaram Yadav and Chhotu Kushwaha and the Forbesganj massacre; and to turn the February 20-21 Strike called by central TUs into a Bharat Bandh.      

Coming on the heels of Nitish Kumar's 4 November Rally, comparisons were inevitable. All observers, including many intellectuals of Patna, as well as media personnel, remarked on the stark contrast between the Government-sponsored rulers' rally of 4 November, and the lively, responsive gathering at the CPI(ML) Rally. Even in terms of sheer numbers, the CPI(ML) rally had comfortably matched the 'official' rally, flooding Gandhi Maidan with red flags. Many media reports recounted how the CPI(ML) rallyists had come, without the aid of any sponsored trains and cavalcade of buses; how they sustained themselves with little bundles of sattu  and chana; and on their self-discipline and boundless enthusiasm. One paper recounted how, a group returning from the Rally, rendered rousing revolutionary songs and spontaneously composed songs in Bhojpuri against the Nitish Government, late into the night as they waited for a train at Patna junction.     

The Parivartan Rally was a vigorous and timely assertion of the relevance and urgent need of Left politics and people's movements against the corruption, corporate plunder, and repression unleashed by Governments at the State and Centre alike, and by UPA and NDA alike.


Dubrajpur Firing: Mamata's Nandigram

The Singur -Nandigram episode was again enacted in Loba, a sleepy hamlet of Dubrajpur in Birbhum district, when a huge contingent of police fired upon the villagers who were agitating for legitimate compensation against land acquisition by EMTA (Eastern Minerals and Trading Association), a private player in coal, for setting up open cast mine in this vast tract of fertile agricultural land. EMTA is one of the main players named in the Coalgate scam.

The police indiscriminately fired upon the villagers, lobbed tear gas shells, brutally lathicharged men, women and children early in the morning on 6th November. Many were injured, with at least 5 villagers suffering bullet injuries, and being admitted to the District Sadar Hospital at Siuri. A 10-member team of CPI(ML) visited the spot on 7th November at 10 am and interacted with the leaders and villagers. The team comprised PB member Comrade Kartick Pal, Abhijit Majumdar, CCM, SCMs Atanu Chakravarty, Surinder Singh, Moloy Tiwary, Birbhum District Secretary Subodh Rooj, Gopal Ghosh, Prodyot Mukherjee and Rabin Banerjee.

After reaching the spot, the team met Felaram Mondal, President of Krishijami Raksha Committee (Save Farmland Committee), the platform which spearheaded this movement since 2006. He was at the makeshift camp at Babupur of Loba village. The villagers showed the empty cartridges of bullets, and used tear gas shells. Felaram Mondal said that a huge contingent of police force (according to press reports, 8-10 Officers-in -charge of different police stations, and a huge police force along with 37 recovery vans) suddenly attacked the volunteers sleeping in the tent, beating them mercilessly. Immediately, villagers from nearby villages rushed in, in hundreds. A pitched battle started between the police and villagers, and villagers bravely faced the firing, retaliating with bows and arrows. Burnt police vehicles and pieces of the shattered glass panes from the police vans strewn all over bore testimony to the villagers' courageous resistance in the face of severe repression.

The villagers informed the team that EMTA planned to acquire three thousand three fifty three acres of fertile land (three times that acquired at Singur), where different types of vegetables, rice, mustard seeds etc are cultivated throughout the year. During 2009-10, during LF rule, EMTA acquired 700 acres of land from the absentee landlord through their agents. In 2009, an agreement was signed between EMTA-DVC (Damoder valley corp) on land acquisition but the details have still been kept under wraps. Since then, the villagers have been demanding adequate compensation and price for their land. Felaram Mondal also said that after TMC assumed power, Partha Chatterjee, Minister for Industry & Commerce, came to their tent and promised an adequate compensation package within a week, to which the villagers agreed. But till date nothing was in sight.

The villagers informed that on December 2011, the EMTA officials came to this village with an earth mover machine for digging the land. The villagers gheraoed, resisted and took possession of that machine which is in their custody till now. It is this machine that triggered off the police action. For the last few months, Partha Chatterjee had been pressurising the local administration for police action to retrieve the machine. The police informed the minister that such action might lead to a serious law and order situation but his department didn't accept the police version. It should be mentioned that EMTA donated 2 crore to the chief minister's relief fund and 20 lakhs to the Durga Puja committee headed by Partha Chatterjee.

The villagers also alleged that Anubrata Mondal, the district president of TMC has openly colluded with EMTA and instigated this police action. He has taken Rs 25000 per bigha as commission from EMTA and has acted at the behest of this company.

A procession of agitating villagers came to the spot and Comrade Kartick Pal addressed the gathering. He condemned the police brutalities in severest terms, congratulated the villagers for their heroic resistance and termed this movement as Singur-2.

After the incident, chief minister Mamata Banerjee said, "It is still a mystery how it occurred," adding that "I can't understand why such a large contingent of police went to the village without informing the senior officers." The SP of Birbhum district was asked to go on leave for an indefinite period and a administrative enquiry was ordered. The Home Secretary and the CM denied any police firing and even claimed that the police personnel showed "restraint" despite being attacked by villagers with bows and arrows! Satabdi Roy, TMC MP from Birbhum, initially said that she heard about police firing, but later made a complete somersault and said that the police had not fired. Partha Chatterjee told the press that CPIM and Congress were behind the 'violence by villagers,' and after 24 hours, he discovered the "hand of the ultra left" and "outsiders" in this agitation. Soon he came out with the conspiracy theory, used by the CM to respond to most serious issues – that there was some conspiracy "to malign this government." But the villagers and leaders of Krishijami Raksha Committee opposed this statement and said categorically that there were no outsiders.

The fact finding team then proceeded towards the hospital and met the superintendent of the Siuri Sadar, and saw and consoled the injured. The names of the injured are as follows--1) Upananda Mondal,age 45,bullet injury in the right abdomen; 2) Shyamal Ghosh, age 35, bullet injury in left leg; 3) Jiban Bagdi, age 19, a student due to appear in Higher Secondary Exams in 2013, bullet injury below the left pelvis; 4) Purnima Dom, age 32, bullet injury in the left leg; 5) Budan Ghosh age 38, bullet injury in the palm of right hand. The fact finding team raised the following demands- 1) Judicial enquiry headed by a sitting judge of Kolkata High Court; 2) Punishment of the guilty police officers forthwith; 3) Scrap the agreement signed between EMTA &DVC; 4) Rs 1 lakh compensation to the injured and state govt to shoulder the responsibility for treating the injured; 5) Chief minister should visit the spot immediately. 8th November was observed as a state-wide protest day against the Dubrajpur firing, with protest/dharnas held at the block level.

Memorial Meeting for Comrade Ashok

On 12 November, the death anniversary of CPI(ML) leader and former Lokyuddh editor Comrade Ashok, was observed at the Patna State office of the party. The memorial meeting was attended by party General Secretary Comrade Dipankar, State Secretary Comrade Kunal, Lokyuddh editor Comrade Brij Bihari Pandey, other members of the Lokyuddh team, and other leaders and activists of the party.

Students Protest Jailing of Dayamani Barla

The All India Students' Association (AISA) and Jharkhand Tribal Students' Association (JTSA) today protested at the Jharkhand Bhawan in Delhi against the continuing incarceration of Dayamani Barla and other activists protesting against forceful land acquisition at Nagri.

Since 16 October 2012, she has been in jail, arrested under some charge or the other by the Jharkhand government. She was first arrested for the "crime" of blocking the road in front of the BDO of Angara block (Ranchi) in 2006 for the demand of MNREGA job cards. Soon after she was released on bail on 19 October 2012, Barla was incarcerated again, this time for violating court orders by ploughing land at Nagri village on 15 August 2012, some 20 km from Ranchi. Once the courts were forced to grant her bail in the above two cases, she was charged with "defamation" because she took part in a demonstration where activists burnt the effigies of the Jharkhand high court on 4 October 2012.

JNUSU Joint Secretary Piyush Raj, AISA leader Om Prasad, JNUSU Councillor and activist of AISA and Jharkhand Tribal Students' Association Anubhuti Agnes Bara, and other activists participated in the protest.  

A memorandum was submitted to the Resident Commissioner of the Govt. of Jharkhand in Delhi demanding the immediate release of Dayamani Barla and stopping of land acquisition in Nagri. The memorandum also demanded that the Jharkhand government follow the law of the land and constitutional provisions under the 5th Schedule and implement legislations like the PESA Act that are meant to protect the rights of the tribal people of the state of Jharkhand.

AICCTU and AISA Support 
Hunger-Striking Maruti Workers

On 7-8 November, terminated workers of Maruti Suzuki, Manesar plant held a mass hunger strike in front of the District Magistrate Office (mini-secretariat), Gurgaon demanding immediate release of all arrested workers and the withdrawal of all the false charges put on them, immediate reinstatement of all terminated workers, including the contract workers and an impartial inquiry into the incident of 18th July. The 149 Maruti workers in Bhondsi jail also held a parallel hunger strike on those days, defying threats and repressive measures by jail authorities.

On the 7th, the police dismantled the tent and water and sound system, and other amenities - cracking down on the peaceful protest. The police also detained workers in the thana - but was forced to release them later. The hunger strike continued. On 8th November, AICCTU and AISA leaders joined the workers in their protest. AICCTU National Secretary Santosh Rai and AISA leader Sucheta De addressed the protesting workers. AICCTU leaders Shankaran, Sarvraj, Tarachand and others along with a students' team from JNU including JNUSU Joint Secretary Meenakshi Burogohain participated in the protest. 

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: