People's Democracy(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
September 10, 2006
Bajrangi Goons Attack CPI(M) Leader, Get Chased Away
Brinda Karat addressing the meeting in Raipur on August 28
THERE is absolutely no reason to doubt that the police and administration in Raipur, the capital of Chhattisgarh, deliberately chose to remain mute spectators when the Bajrang Dal goons were planning to attack and when they really attacked Brinda Karatís meeting when she came to Raipur on August 28. The authorities well knew in advance about the CPI(M) leaderís programme in the city, and were also informed in advance by the CPI(M) district secretary and state secretariat member Dharmaraj Mahapatra that the Bajrangi goons might well cause trouble at the meeting venue in Ravindra Manch in Kalibari, but yet they did not take care to make any security arrangements. So much so that only two or three policemen were visible at the time the CPI(M) leader was addressing a public meeting.
This shows that the state administration acted under the pressure of higher-ups in the BJP controlled state government, who wanted to facilitate an attack on the CPI(M) Polit Bureau member.
It was because of apprehensions about such a collusion between the authorities and the goons that the CPI(M) had organised a contingent of some 30 members and deployed them at various points from the airport to the meeting venue.
However, the Bajrangi goons got desperate when they failed to wave black flags or do anything else in the initial moments; Brinda Karat not only safely reached the meeting venue but the meeting also started without any trouble. It was then that this desperate riotous mob, armed with lathis, sticks, khukhris and tridents, tried to force their way into the campus. They kept displaying their own, special kind of tridents and other weapons in the very presence of policemen, broke the glass panes in the front side windows of the auditorium, and tore many of the books displayed in the bookstall. They used their lathis against the main door of the auditorium and tried all means to terrorise the audience. They also threatened the people who, in hundreds, were standing out of the meetingís venue and willing to come inside to listen to Karat. They also arsoned some of the buses that had brought people from other parts of the state and were parked outside on the road.
Before embarking upon their rowdyism, Bajrangi goons gave vent to their desperation by tearing and burning the CPI(M) flags, buntings and banners outside.
But the partyís members and supporters faced these goons with courage, foiled their game of entering the auditorium, chased them away, and grabbed six of those running away. They were later handed over to the policemen who were conspicuous by their absence when the Bajrangi dance of rowdyism was continuing for 15 to 20 minutes. But the collusion of the authorities with the goons became further evident after the police brought only minor charges against them and released them later in the evening.
In the meantime, Dharmaraj Singh contacted the stateís governor on phone, informed him of the situation and asked him to immediately intervene.
Those who got injured while facing the goons included former SFI central committee member Rajesh Awasthi and Raipur city SFI president Hari Mishra.
After the meeting was over, the audience raised loud slogans to register their protest against the Sangh Parivarís misdemeanour.
Immediately after the mass meeting, Brinda Karat contacted the home secretary of the state, demanding immediate action against the City Kotwali CSP Bambara and arrest of the Bajrangi hooligans. She also demanded reparation for the losses the CPI(M) had suffered because of this attack. Later she also contacted the chief minister to demand action.
Talking to media persons, Brinda Karat described the whole episode as shameful, adding that the presence of a large number of people in the mass meeting, which turned out to be very successful, proved that the RSS goons cannot suppress the voice of the people or crush the Red Flag movement.
The Chhattisgarh state committee of the CPI(M) asked all its district and lower units to send protest telegrams to the chief minister on August 29. tTrough a statement, the committee made it clear that communal outfits cannot suppress the voice of the people and kill the freedom of expression by their fascistic methods.
Karatís meeting in Raipur was a part of the CPI(M)ís August campaign in the state and the district. During the campaign, the Raipur district unit of the party ran a vigorous mass contact programme through meetings and other means. Apart from using the medium of wall writing and more than 4,000 posters, the party also distributed 15,000 leaflets among the people.