People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


No. 36

September 15,2002


Terror Against CPI(M) Continues

AS an integral part of the continued attacks that aim to terrorise the voters ahead of the next assembly elections in Tripura, NLFT extremists struck once again on September 5 afternoon at Bhandarima, a remote village of Kanchanpur subdivision, North Tripura. Here the extremists barbarously killed a CPI(M)/GMP activist Jamaray Reang (51) and Chandrajoy Reang (37) of the DYFI-affiliated Tribal Youth Federation.

Around 5.30 p m on the day, a group of 10 to 12 armed NLFT extremists raided the interior tribal village and forced the villagers at gunpoint to gather at a place they specified. The extremists then isolated Jamaray Reangh and Chandrajoy Reang from the gathering, tied their hands and shot them to death. Before leaving the village, the extremists warned the villagers against involving in the CPI(M)’s activities.

Vehemently condemning the dastardly Bhandarima killings as the latest in the series of political assassination of CPI(M)/Ganamukti Parishad activists by anti-national, imperialist-aided extremists, the CPI(M) state secretariat urged the centre once again to dispatch adequate security forces as per the repeated requisition of the state government. At the same time, the party urged upon the people of Tripura to effectively isolate the unholy electoral alliance between the Congress and the INPT (NLFT’s political wing). It will be recalled that the Congress-INPT combine, aiming to drive the Left Front out of power, has been backing up the series of extremist strikes on Left Front activists as part of its game during the run-up to the assembly elections slated for February next.

Incidentally, the area of September 5 extremist attack falls under the security cover of the Assam Rifles.



HROWN miserably on the defensive statewide due to its extremely opportunist alliance with the extremists, the opposition Congress party in Tripura has evidently concluded that abusive attacks are the best way to defend itself. No wonder therefore that, characteristically for itself, it has thrown to the winds all the democratic norms and values.

This was once again evident during the four days of continuous clamour by Congress legislators on the floor of the state assembly. On the closing day of the session on September 5, their disruptive activities touched a new low with their indecent conduct in the speaker’s chamber.

At about 12 noon on September 5, the opposition created a tamasha in the assembly on a flimsy ground --- as usual. It was when Congress legislator Sudip Roy Barman kept insisting that the Yusuf commission report on the former health minister Bimal Sinha’s assassination must be tabled in this very session. Congress legislators took no notice of the speaker’s clarification that the matter was sub judice. Their continuous clamour, coupled with the unseemly gestures and postures of the entire Congress legislature party, compelled the speaker at about 12.15 p m to indefinitely adjourn the session.

A short while later, Congress legislators sought a meeting with the speaker in his chamber. But immediately after entering the chamber, they started heckling and harassing him, demanding an explanation for the adjournment. Abuses and obscenities freely flowed, especially from three leading legislators of the Congress party, whose conduct at one point of time even verged on violence against the speaker. The Congress legislators beat a retreat, along with their INPT allies, only when the speaker and the deputy speaker vehemently protested against their absolutely irrational and unruly behaviour.

Speaking to the press later on, speaker Jitendra Sarkar stated that, in order to preclude even the slightest dilution of the opposition’s privilege, he had done his level best to allow them to have their say. The opposition legislators were given a longer time period than was normally due even to the treasury benches. Moreover, acceding to the opposition’s demand, he had extended the session for three days. Yet, he regretted that, far from making the most of it, they had reduced the entire three-day time to an exercise in futility through their disruptive and potentially dangerous antics.

The reason for such unruly behaviour is obvious. At present, the entire state is boiling with over rage and resentment against the Geneva speech of INPT president Bijoy Kumar Hrangkhawal who brazenly justified the outlawed extremist organisations of Tripura. (See People’s Democracy, September 9-15 issue for details.) The people of the state are also enraged over the blatant indifference to such an anti-national attitude the Congress, the INPT’s political-electoral ally, has adopted to Hrangkhawal’s speech. Big pressure is building up statewide for the INPT leader Bijoy Hrangkhawl’s immediate arrest on charge of treason. Rowdyism was therefore the last resort for the Congress-INPT combine during the said four days of the assembly session, in a bid to guard itself against the contemptuous gaze of the entire state.



HUMPING the thoroughfares of Agartala, the state capital, thousands of agricultural labourers, a vital force towards the goal of food security and self-reliance of Tripura, showed their determination to protect their very own Left Front government, while at the same time pressing their own economic demands. On September 5, the CITU-affiliated Farm Labourers Union organised a big march to the state assembly and sent a deputation to the chief minister, with its 16-point charter of demands. The latter included the demand for a wage hike.

Right from September 5 forenoon, labourers hailing from 62 farms all over the state, along with their family members, started gathering at the Rabindra Shatabarshiki Bhawan compound in Agartala. To strengthen their struggle for their demands, they came from each and every farm situated in Sadar, Bishalgarh, Sonamura, Khowai, Belonia and Subroom subdivisions of West and South Tripura, including ones in the extremist-infested Taidu in South Tripura. The farms in other subdivisions sent their representatives for a token participation in the march. The procession started at 2 p m --- braving the blazing sun, bedecked with flags and festoons, and roaring with spirited slogans. Spiralling through the streets of Agartala, the procession finally reached in front of the Town Hall that stands beside the assembly building.

The rallyists chanted slogans against the anti-national alliance of the Congress with the extremists in the garb of the INPT, and invoked the force of people’s unity for the Left Front’s return to power in the next assembly polls. A 14-member delegation later met the chief minister Manik Sarkar in the assembly house with a charter of demands. Meanwhile, the long walkway adjoining the Town Hall was occupied with the milling crowd of farm labourers, in front of the temporary platform created for the rally.

Having accepted the memorandum of demands, the chief minister came out to address the rally. He announced that the Left Front government is taking steps to fulfil such demands as are within its jurisdiction. He reminded the elderly labourers of the miserable condition at the state’s farms before the advent of the first Left Front government in 1978 and during the 1988-93 Congress-led coalition regime, and cautioned against the conspiracy of the same vested elements to capture power by allying with the extremists. He said these extremists want nothing but to stall the development activities in Tripura through violent means, so as to revive and prop up the domination of the vested interests. He emphasised the powerful role the farm labourers are playing, and have to play in future, in the Left Front government’s ongoing work towards the state’s self-reliance in food production by the year 2010 and in other spheres by 2012.

CITU state secretary Manik De extensively dealt with the demands of the farm labourers. He pointed out that farms in other states have either been closed down or on the verge of closure due to the centre’s policies. In Tripura, it is the Left Front government that has been trying its level best not only to save but to develop the farms. Hence the need to protect the Left Front government like the apple of the eye, he maintained.

Tripura Farm Labourers Union secretary Kanu Ghosh also addressed the rally. (INN)